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Live: Israel and Hamas claim victory as fragile ceasefire holds
Follow MEE's updates as ceasefire aimed at ending intense bombing of Gaza is threatened by Israeli actions at al-Aqsa Mosque
KEY POINTS
Ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the besieged Gaza Strip appears to be holding, hours after it came into effect
Over the past 11 days, Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women. In Israel, 12 people have been killed
Aid agencies have appealed for access and supplies for Gaza, with ICRC reporting it will take years for the Palestinian enclave to recover
Live Updates
This completes our live blog coverage 
4 weeks ago
Hello MEE readers, 
After 11 days of near-constant bombardment, Israel and Hamas have so far chosen to honour the agreed-upon ceasefire, which took effect at 2 am, local time on Friday. 
As a result, both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh have claimed victory. 
Meanwhile, humanitarian officials are warning that the damage to the besieged Gaza Strip will take years to rebuild, as Israeli air strikes forced around 91,000 people to flee their homes, according to the UN.
In pictures: Palestinians return to piles of rubble following Gaza ceasefire
Read More »
In total, the air strikes killed at least 248 people in Gaza, including 66 children, while rockets launched from Gaza by Hamas killed 12 people in Israel, including two children. 
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, on Friday there were 59 people being treated for severe wounds in Gaza, while nearly 1,900 reported light or moderate injuries. 
The Israeli army has said that it hit some 1,500 targets in Gaza with air strikes during its operation. The army also claimed that around 4,360 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, of which it said about 3,400 made it into Israeli air space. The Israeli army did not provide details on how many of those rockets were shot down by its advanced Iron Dome missile defence system. 
The Hamas movement did not confirm the number of rockets it fired during this latest period. 
This completes our live blog coverage, but please continue to follow MEE for all the latest on Israel, Palestine and the region.
Gaza death toll rises to 248, including 66 children
1 month ago
Gaza's ministry of health has updated the number of deaths resulting from eleven days of Israel's air strikes to 248, including 66 children, 39 women, and 17 elderly people. 
At least 1948 have been wounded in the attacks, the ministry added.
Rocket fire out of Gaza has killed a total of 12 people in Israel, two of whom were children. 
Owner of destroyed media building in Gaza files 'war crime' complaint at ICC
4 weeks ago
The owner of the building hosting media offices in Gaza that was destroyed by Israeli air strikes has filed an official complaint with the International Criminal Court, his lawyer has said.
Middle East Eye condemns the bombing of media offices in Gaza
Read More »
In his complaint, Jawad Mehdi said the 15 May attack, which took out the Gaza bureaus of the Associated Press, Al Jazeera, as well as several other media offices, including one belonging to MEE,  should be labelled a "war crime". 
"The owner of this building, who is a Palestinian, has mandated his lawyers to file a war crime complaint with the International Criminal Court," lawyer Gilles Devers said in a statement on Friday.
The filing, a copy of which was seen by AFP, comes after the chief prosecutor of the ICC warned last week that "crimes" may have been committed during the recent upheaval.
Jewish activists cover Israeli consulate in Toronto with 'river of blood'
4 weeks ago
Jewish activists and other allies in Canada have gathered at the Israeli consulate in Toronto to protest against Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip and its occupation of the Palestinian people. 
BREAKING: Activists cover steps to Israeli consulate in Toronto with river of blood. "We are making the violence and bloodshed of Israel’s brutal occupation, military attacks, and ethnic cleansing in Gaza and across Palestine visible right here on the Israeli govt’s doorstep." pic.twitter.com/1FWx4SleY2
— World BEYOND War Canada (@WBWCanada) May 21, 2021
Among some of the groups involved were the Canada-based World Beyond War and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV). 
"This belligerence is the latest in an ongoing aggressive 73-year settler-colonisation project by Israel across historic Palestine," Rabbi David Mivasair, a member of IJV said. "The ceasefire doesn’t end the injustice and oppression."
'As Canadians, we demand that our government holds Israel accountable for war crimes'
-Rabbi David Mivasair, Independent Jewish Voices
Rabbi Mivasair quoted the Book of Genesis saying: "'The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the earth.'"
"Canadian Jews and others joined today to make sure that cry is heard even if the blood stops being spilled anew. Red paint streaming from the Israeli consulate onto the street in Toronto represents the blood of massacred innocent Palestinian civilians, the blood on Israel’s hands. As Canadians, we demand that our government holds Israel accountable for war crimes and stops the Canada-Israel arms trade," Mivasair said.
Khamenei calls on Muslim countries to provide military support to Palestine
4 weeks ago
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is calling on all Muslim-majority countries to support Palestinians militarily and financially, following Israel's latest bombardment of the Gaza Strip. 
"Muslim states must sincerely support the Palestinian people, through military ...or financial support ...or in rebuilding Gaza's infrastructure," Khamenei said in a statement carried by local media.
He also urged individual Muslims to demand that their governments back Palestine.
Haniyeh says Hamas will fight until al-Aqsa Mosque is 'liberated'
1 month ago
Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas, has said the movement's fight against Israel will continue until al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem is "liberated". 
"Israel’s defeat in the Gaza war will have major consequences for its future," he said, adding that Jerusalem remains at the core of the conflict.
Meanwhile, Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti, Muhammad Hussein, was heckled off the pulpit at al-Aqsa Mosque earlier, after failing to mention Gaza during his sermon. 
Popular anger in Palestine is palpable: today in al Aqsa mosque, sheikh started his sermon without mentioning Gaza. People present force him to step down and chant ‘down with the Palestinian authority’s men’ pic.twitter.com/SnIt5e6Vl4
— Zaid Al-Ali (@zalali) May 21, 2021
"Go back to Abu Mazen!" some shouted referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as "Down with the Palestinian Authority's men!"
The names of Palestinians and Israelis killed during the violence
1 month ago
With a tentative ceasefire in place between Israel and Hamas, many are now taking the time to reflect on the hundreds killed over the last two weeks of fighting.
MEE has reviewed the victims and attempted to put a name and date to each death:
Israel-Palestine: The names of Palestinians and Israelis killed during the violence
Palestinian Suzy Eshkuntana is carried pulled from the rubble in Gaza City's Rimal district on 16 May 2021, after an Israeli air strike killed the rest of her family apart from her father (AFP).
Iran displays long-range combat drone, names it 'Gaza'
1 month ago
Iran on Friday displayed a home-built combat drone that it said had a range of 2,000km, naming it "Gaza" in honour of the Palestinians' struggle against Israel, state media reported. 
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said the new drone was capable of flying for 35 hours and carrying 13 bombs and 500kg of electronics equipment, the state news agency IRNA reported.
Major General Hossein Salami, the head of the IRGC, said the new drone was named "Gaza" in honour "of those in that land who stand today against the invasion and aggression of the Zionists (Israel)," the IRGC website reported.
Several worshippers injured by Israeli forces at al-Aqsa Mosque
1 month ago
Medics said 20 Palestinians were wounded when Israel forces stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, just hours after a ceasefire over Gaza was agreed between Israel and Hamas.
Two of the injured were transferred to hospital for treatment, Reuters said.
Israeli forces attack worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque
4 weeks ago
Tens of thousands of Palestinians had been praying at al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday afternoon, which was then followed by celebrations, chants in support of Gaza and the distribution of sweets. Israeli forces were then seen attacking worshippers.
بالقـ.ـنابل الصوتية.. لحظة استهداف قوات الاحتلال للفلسطينيين في باحات المسجد الأقصى pic.twitter.com/PELTrIgMgX
— AlQastal القسطل (@AlQastalps) May 21, 2021
Israeli police storm al-Aqsa Mosque following Gaza ceasefire
1 month ago
Israeli security forces have fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at worshippers in al-Aqsa Mosque, hours after thousands gathered at the holy site to celebrate the announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza.
Footage released on social media showed Israeli police firing into crowds of Palestinian worshippers shortly after they had congregated for Friday prayers.
There are reports of injuries.
WATCH: Israeli forces storm al-Aqsa Mosque, firing sound grenades
4 weeks ago
Turkey hopes Gaza truce holds, wants Israel to account for 'crimes'
1 month ago
Turkey welcomed a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and hopes it will last, but Israel must be held to account for crimes it committed in Gaza over the past two weeks, the foreign ministry said on Friday.
The truce took hold on Friday after the worst violence in years.
"In order to prevent a repeat of the pain and tears seen in Palestine, Israel must be held accountable in the international arena for the crimes it committed," the ministry said, calling on the United Nations Security Council to take action.
"A lifting of the inhumane siege it imposed on Gaza must be ensured." 
At least six dead after bomb targets Palestine protest in Pakistan
3 weeks ago
A bomb blast at a pro-Palestine rally in southwest Pakistan has killed at least six people, according to Pakistani police.
The demonstration, which took place in the Balochistan region near the Afghan border, was organised by supporters of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam group.
At least 14 people were also reportedly injured in the blast.
Police said a bomb disposal squad had been called in to search for more devices in the area.
Death toll in Gaza rises to 243
3 weeks ago
Israeli air strikes have killed at least 243 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the local ministry of health has reported. 
Of those killed, at least 66 were children, 39 were women and 17 were elderly men. 
At least 1,910 people have been wounded, the ministry said.
Nine people, including a child, were pulled from under rubble on Friday.
Rocket fire out of Gaza has killed a total of 12 people in Israel, two of whom were children. 
UN says more than 90,000 internally displaced in Gaza
4 weeks ago
The UN says the recent hostilities have led to around 91,000 people becoming internally displaced in Gaza.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the numbers included 66,000 people seeking protection in 58 United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools across the besieged enclave and more than 25,000 staying with host families.
Lebanon's Hezbollah hails 'historic victory' for Palestinians
4 weeks ago
Lebanon's Hezbollah movement hailed a "historic victory" for Palestinians after a ceasefire took effect following 11 days of fighting.
"Hezbollah congratulates the heroic Palestinian people and its valiant resistance on the historic victory achieved... against the Zionist (Israel) enemy," the group said in a statement.
Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss to resume flights to Tel Aviv on Sunday
4 weeks ago
German airline Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss aim to resume flights to Tel Aviv on Sunday, Lufthansa said. Lufthansa had suspended its flights on 13 May.
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