Over 52,000 Palestinians displaced due to Israeli attacks on Gaza: UN
More than 52,000 Palestinians have been displaced by Israeli air strikes that have destroyed or badly damaged nearly 450 buildings in the Gaza Strip, the U.N. aid agency said on May 18.
About 47,000 of the displaced people have sought shelter in 58 U.N.-run schools in Gaza, Jens Laerke, spokesman of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters.
Laerke said 132 buildings had been destroyed and 316 had been severely damaged, including six hospitals and nine primary healthcare centers.
The U.N. agency said it welcomed the fact that Israel had opened one border crossing for humanitarian supplies but called for another crossing to also be opened.
The death toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the start of the offensive on the Gaza Strip has risen to 213, including 61 children and 36 women, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The ministry said on May 18 that the number of injuries also climbed to 1,442.
The Israeli military has staged airstrikes across the Gaza Strip since May 10, leaving behind a massive trail of destruction across the blockaded enclave.
Ten Israelis have also been killed in Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza on May 18 damaged the Health Ministry building, Palestinian officials said.
Al-Rimal Health Center and the administrative building of the ministry, which are located near the region were targeted by Israel. They have been severely damaged, said the Gaza Health Ministry.
The statement said that some officers in the ministry building in the Rimal neighborhood were also injured.
Israeli missile attack on the Ghazi Al Shawwa building in the Rimal neighborhood killed two people including a child and injured 10 others, including health ministry officials, said the Gaza government information office.
Palestine urges UN to stop Israeli crimes against children
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on May 17 urged the U.N. to stop Israel's crimes against Palestinian children.
In a message to Virginia Gamba, U.N.’s special envoy for children and armed conflict, Maliki said that Israel's intense and violent attacks on Gaza have caused the deaths of dozens of children, and Palestinian children did not have safe places to seek shelter.
"We call Gamba to protect Palestinian children, and urge Israel to stop its attacks on Palestinian children," Maliki said
Israeli actions to lead further tensions in region: Jordanian king
Jordan's King Abdullah II conveyed to the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the repeated Israeli actions and provocations against the Palestinian people have led to the current escalations.
In a telephone call, he told Guterres that Israeli actions will push the region towards further tension.
According to a statement issued by the Jordanian Royal Council, Abdullah II reiterated that there is no alternative to a political solution that would lead to the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution and guarantee the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and a viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
King drew attention to the dire consequences of the violations committed by Israel in Jerusalem, especially against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the attempts to unlawfully displace the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from their homes, the statement added.
Abdullah II warned against interfering with the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem, noting that Jordan will continue to exert all efforts to protect the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
He also stressed the need for the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and move effectively to stop the Israeli attacks, prevent their recurrence, stop the aggression on Gaza, and work for the advancements of the peace process.
Qatar slams Israeli strike of Qatari Red Crescent building
Qatari Foreign Ministry on May 17 condemned the Israeli strike on the Qatari Red Crescent building in the besieged Gaza Strip in Palestine.
The targeting of humanitarian and media institutions is a clear violation of international law, against humanitarian norms and values, the ministry said in a statement.
“Qatar calls on the international community to condemn this sinful act and to exert further efforts to put an end to Israeli’s continuous crimes in the occupied territories, and to protect civilians, journalists, medical practitioners, and humanitarian workers,” the statement added.
Furthermore, Qatar affirmed its support for the just Palestinian cause and the people of Palestine.
France seeks explanation for Israeli attack on media buildings
France has asked Israel to explain the conditions and reasons behind conducting the airstrike against the building in Gaza that housed media organizations, President Emmanuel Macron said on May 17.
He also announced that Paris is working to enforce a ceasefire to put an end to the ongoing violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“The safety of the journalists and those who work for freedom of speech and expression... their protection is indeed a very important responsibility,” Macron said at a news conference on the sidelines of the conference for Sudan in Paris on Monday.
“Our embassy is working on the issue [strike] and we are awaiting explanations from Netenyahu, we speak to him regularly, “he said.
Macron’s statement followed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s call demanding justification from Israel for destroying the building in an airstrike that housed the American news agency Associated Press (AP) and Al Jazeera.