PALESTINE, GAZA (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Gaza has claimed the lives of one Israeli and two Palestinians since Saturday, waking up the specter of a new decade-long Eurovision conflict, which will take place this year in Tel Aviv.
Since Saturday, May 4, more than 400 rockets have been fired at Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip , said the IDF, which claims to have intercepted a large number. The army responded by bombing more than 200 sites.
This is one of the largest numbers of rockets fired in two days over Israel during the violence in recent years between Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas in power in Gaza, and the Jewish state.
In this context of escalation, Israel has announced the closure of crossing points with Gaza and fishing areas of the Palestinian enclave.
Israeli man and four Palestinians killed
The exchange of gunfire killed a 58-year-old Israeli in Ashkelon and four Palestinians, including a 14-month-old girl and her pregnant mother. Another daughter of the latter was seriously injured. According to the Hamas Ministry of Health and relatives of the victims, they were hit by a strike on their house in Gaza.
The Israeli army has challenged this version of events. A military spokesman, Avichay Adraee, speaking in Arabic on Twitter, suggested that the death of the mother and her baby may have been the result of a Palestinian shooting, but without giving further details.
Hamas allies in Gaza announce new attacks
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Hamas ally in Gaza, on Saturday claimed responsibility for launching part of the rockets and said it was ready to continue the firing.
In a video broadcast on social networks, the group’s armed wing threatened to attack several strategic Israeli sites, including Ben Gurion International Airport, located near Tel Aviv.
Will Eurovision be threatened?
This renewed tension comes about ten days before the Eurovision that will take place from May 14 in Tel Aviv.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which is organizing the contest, said Saturday that the rehearsals “will continue normally” and that the situation will be “closely monitored,” says The Jerusalem Post.
Mediation of the United Nations and Egypt
The United Nations is participating in Egypt’s mediation efforts to alleviate the situation, according to UN envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov. This cycle of endless violence must stop and efforts must be redoubled to find a political solution,” he said in Cairo, quoted by Reuters.
In recent weeks, Egyptian mediation has permitted the lifting of some restrictions on the movement of goods and people from the Gaza Strip and the expansion of its fishing zone, but the Israeli authorities have further reduced it response to a rocket fire and Saturday closed the crossings that had been partly reopened recently.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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