48 lives were lost after relentless air strikes by Israel targeting Hamas and other Islamist groups fuelled growing fears that violence between Israel and Palestinians could spiral into “full-scale war”. Palestinian militants have launched more than 1,000 rockets since Monday, said Israel’s army. It was the heaviest offensive between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war in Gaza.
The most intense hostilities in seven years have killed at least 48 people in Gaza, including 14 children, two Palestinians in the West Bank, and five Israelis, triggered by weekend unrest at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.
The violence followed weeks of tension in Jerusalem during the month of Ramazan, with attacks by Israeli police on Palestinian protesters in and around Al Aqsa Mosque.