On Friday (May 14), the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas continued to fire 55 rockets at Israel in an indiscriminate attack on the population. This brings the total number of rockets fired by Hamas to about 2,000. The Israeli military said it has begun a dual air and ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to clear the Hamas underground tunnels under civilian areas.
The Israeli Air Force continued to launch heavy airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on the 14th. The Israeli Defense Ministry tweeted that 160 Israeli aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry were deployed on the Gaza border with the goal of paralyzing the Hamas military tunnels built under residential areas in all directions.
Footage uploaded on the Internet showed the Hamas government compound being hit by bombs dropped from planes at sunset that day, sending flames into the sky. It continued into the night, with occasional flames and smoke rising from Gaza City, and many homes in densely populated areas were destroyed or severely damaged.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that underground Hamas targets had been attacked. Some analysts believe that Israel is clearing Hamas’ tunnel network in preparation for a ground war.
At the same time, Israeli ground forces have begun operations. Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Conricus said Israeli ground forces are attacking Hamas targets in northern Gaza, on the Israeli side of the border, with tanks and artillery, among other things. However, Conriques denied previous claims that Israeli forces had entered Gaza, saying the attacks were taking place outside of Gaza.
According to reports, the fighting has killed at least 122 Palestinians and eight Israelis as of the 14th.
In an effort to quell the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. envoy Assistant Undersecretary of State Heidi Am arrived in Israel overnight on the 14th. White House spokesman Pusaki said the U.S. hopes to end this crisis between Israel and Hamas through diplomatic means.
In addition, the U.N. Security Council will hold a video conference on Sunday to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling for a “cessation of hostilities.
According to a recent Israeli military report, about 2,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip over the past week, 90 percent of which were intercepted by the “Iron Dome” anti-missile system.
In addition, ethnic clashes between Jews and Arabs have intensified in many parts of Israel, and police have arrested more than 750 people, with more than 100 arrests between the night of the 13th and the early morning of the 14th alone. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also warned that the army will not be ruled out to suppress the violence.