At least 21 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian health ministry, after Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israel.
Earlier, groups in the Gaza Strip have been firing rockets on Israel without stopping for 10 hours, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.
“Since 6 PM, terrorist groups in Gaza have been firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Non-stop. The time is now 4 AM. That’s 10 hours of rocket attacks,” the IDF said on Twitter.
Earlier, radical Palestinian movement Hamas said that Israel has until 6 pm to withdraw soldiers from the areas of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. After that, about 150 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip on Israel, dozens of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Later, the military wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, gave Israel two more hours to pull out its soldiers from the Al-Aqsa Mosque area, threatening to retaliate.
EU Calls For A Halt
The European Union urged the parties to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to immediately stop the outbreak of violence in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and also called the rocket attacks on the Israeli civilian population unacceptable, the European External Action Service (EEAS) said in a statement.
“The significant upsurge in violence in the occupied West Bank, including in East Jerusalem as well as in and around Gaza needs to stop immediately,” the EEAS said.
“The firing of rockets from Gaza against civilian populations in Israel is totally unacceptable and feeds escalatory dynamics,” according to the statement.
The EEAS urged all leaders to be responsible in acting against extremists.
“The status quo of the holy sites must be fully respected,” it said.
“We reiterate our call on all sides to engage in de-escalatory efforts. Further civilian casualties must be prevented as a priority,” according to the statement.
Earlier reports said more than 500 Palestinians were injured on Monday in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem. Casualties among the population of the Gaza Strip after a strike from Israel were also reported.
Clashes between Palestinians and Israelis have been ongoing for several days.