26.01.2022

Gaza death toll hits 56 as soldier killed and violence escalates

Airstrikes have now killed 56 people including 14 children in Gaza, according to the enclave’s health authority, as the first Israeli soldier has been killed in another day of escalating violence. Israel intercepts Gaza rockets with Iron Dome defence system

Sergeant Omer Tabib “was killed as a result of anti-tank missile fire” fired by Hamas on Wednesday morning, the Israeli military said. The 21 year old is the first Israeli soldier to die in the current fighting.

The announcement of Tabib’s death came shortly after Hamas confirmed that its Gaza City commander, Bassem Issa, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the prime minister has declared an emergency in the town of Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv, following what police called “wide-scale riots” by supporters of the Palestinians.

The two sides have returned to the brink of war following weeks of confrontations, including a heavy-handed police response to worshippers gathering for Friday prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews.

Israeli officials impose curfew in Lod after several days of unrest

Israeli police are imposing a nighttime curfew in Lod that was the scene of disruption in the past few days.

Police said in a statement on Wednesday that officers would enforce the ban on people entering the city in southern Israel, residents leaving their homes, and people in public spaces starting at 8 p.m.

Lod has seen two nights of violent protests, including the torching of dozens of vehicles, a synagogue, and violent clashes between Arab protesters and police.

Israeli authorities declared a state of emergency in the city and deployed Border Police forces.

Footage: Israeli prime minister threatens to use ‘iron fist if needed’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will use “an iron fist if needed” to stop widespread disruption.

Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel will “stop the anarchy” after deploying Border Police forces to calm unrest in recent days in the cities of Lod and Acre.

On Tuesday evening police said in a statement that “vehicles were burnt and damage caused to properties” in “wide-scale riots” in Lod caused by supporters of the Palestinians.

Israeli prime minister threatens to use ‘iron fist if needed’

First Israeli soldier of conflict killed, say army officials

An Israeli soldier has been killed in the growing conflict with Gaza, military officials have confirmed.

Sergeant Omer Tabib “was killed as a result of anti-tank missile fire” fired by Hamas on Wednesday morning, the Israeli military said.

The 21 year old is the first Israeli soldier to die in the current fighting, writes The Independent’s Middle East correspondent Bel Trew.

Firefighters extinguish blaze at petroleum facility in southern Israel

Israel’s firefighting service says it has almost completely extinguished a blaze at a petroleum facility in southern Israel that was set alight by a rocket fired by Hamas.

The rocket landed Tuesday night near a Petroleum and Energy Infrastructures Ltd. facility south of Ashkelon during a major barrage by militants.

The result was a massive fire in a storage tank that blazed through the night and into Wednesday.

Israel Fire and Rescue Services said that 20 teams have been working for 25 hours to extinguish the inferno that issued a column of thick black smoke.

Israeli state-owned Petroleum and Energy Infrastructures said the fuel had been transferred to another storage facility.

Protests in London amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Demonstrators marched from Westminster to the Israeli embassy in Kensington, west London, on Tuesday evening, with many wearing face coverings, waving Palestinian flags and holding placards reading “free Palestine” and “stop the massacre”.

A smaller group of counter-protesters also gathered in London to demonstrate their support for Israel.

Although the protests remained largely peaceful,Metropolitan Police say that a small number of arrests were made, writes The Independent’s Joanna Taylor

Hamas commander killed in airstrike

Hamas has today confirmed that its Gaza City commander was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday.

Bassem Issa is the highest-ranking military figure in Hamas to be killed by Israel since a 2014 war inGaza.

In a statement, Hamas said Issa was killed “along with a few of his fellow brothers of leaders and holy fighters” during the fighting that has been going on for two days in Gaza.

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