Wednesday May 12, 2021
GAZA CITY: Hamas has called for Pakistani to raise their voice against Israel's atrocities against Palestinian Muslims.
The appeal was made by senior Hamas official Basem Naim when he spoke to Geo News about the attacks in Gaza.
Israeli air strikes have killed 43 Palestinians so far, the Hamas leader said, adding that the highest number of casualties of 23 so far was in Beit Hanun, a city on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip.
He confirmed the figure for the injured at 300. Naim told Geo News that the Israeli attack had intensified.
The Hamas official, in a message to Pakistanis, asked for their prayers.
"Happy Eid to Pakistani people, pray for us," he said, making an appeal for for relief operations.
Hostilities between Israel and Hamas escalated overnight, with at least 43 Palestine Muslims killed in Gaza and five people killed in Israel in the most intensive aerial exchanges for years.
Israel carried out hundreds of air strikes in Gaza into the early hours of Wednesday.
One multi-story residential building in Gaza collapsed and another was heavily damaged after they were repeatedly hit by Israeli air strikes.
Israel said its jets had targeted and killed several Hamas intelligence leaders early on Wednesday. Other strikes targeted what the military said were rocket launch sites and Hamas offices.
U.N. Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland tweeted: "Stop the fire immediately. We're escalating towards a full scale war. Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of de-escalation.
"The cost of war in Gaza is devastating & is being paid by ordinary people. UN is working w/ all sides to restore calm. Stop the violence now," he wrote.
Into the early hours of Wednesday morning, Gazans reported their homes shaking and the sky lighting up with Israeli attacks, outgoing rockets and Israeli air defence missiles intercepting them.
The violence followed weeks of tension in Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with an attack by Israeli police on Palestinian worshippers in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the compound revered by Jews as Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
The White House said on Tuesday that Israel had a legitimate right to defend itself from rocket attacks but applied pressure on Israel over the treatment of Palestinians, saying Jerusalem must be a place of coexistence.
The United States was delaying U.N. Security Council efforts to issue a public statement on escalating tensions because it could be harmful to behind-the-scenes efforts to end the violence, according to diplomats and a source familiar with the U.S. strategy.