Israel attacks Gaza Strip as violence intensifies – CBS News

Tel Aviv — After four nights of intense air raids, the Israeli military said Thursday that it is attacking the Gaza Strip. The announcement comes amid a conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 100 Palestinians and eight Israelis.

Israel Defense Forces tweeted earlier Thursday that “air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip,” and CBS News and other media outlets reported that troops were on the ground. A spokesman for the military later told CBS News that there are currently no ground troops inside the Gaza Strip, but said air and ground troops are carrying out strikes on targets there.

In recent days there’s been carnage in the streets of Israel’s mixed Jewish and Arab cities as neighbor-versus-neighbor violence spreads.

The central city of Lod has seen some of the worst violence. Footage captured on a cellphone shows what the government calls “Jewish extremists” marching through Arab neighborhoods, calling for blood.

“They are moving in our streets they are throwing stones they are shouting at us, they are beating,” said Rana Masimi, an Arab Israeli who teaches English at the local high school.

Shauli Rappaport, who is part of Lod’s Jewish community, says he can’t see a way forward. 

The unrest triggered a massive security buildup. Israel’s military said two infantry units and an armored unit were at the Gaza border and plans had been prepared for a potential ground incursion. 

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA
An explosion lights the sky following an Israeli airstrike on Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty

President Joe Biden has said Israel has a right to defend itself as Hamas fired off hundreds of rockets at Israel, which responded with airstrikes. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was sending a senior diplomat to the region in hopes of a truce. 

Blinken spoke on Wednesday with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah faction governs the West Bank but has little control in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Blinken “expressed his condolences for the lives lost as a result” of the violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to a readout of the call provided by the State Department.

Officials from the United Nations and Egypt have said efforts to establish a cease-fire are underway, and an Egyptian delegation arrived Thursday in Israel, but there were few signs of progress yet. 

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Israel attacks Gaza Strip as violence intensifies – CBS News

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