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West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting

APTOPIX Israel Palestinians
Posted at 8:25 PM, May 14, 2021

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas has spilled over into the West Bank and sparked the most widespread Palestinian protests in years.

Hundreds of young demonstrators in multiple towns clashed Friday with Israeli troops, who shot and killed at least 11 people. The protests erupted in multiple cities and towns.

Meanwhile, Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip continued into early Saturday, when an airstrike on a house in Gaza City killed at least seven Palestinians — the highest number of fatalities in a single hit.

That strike came a day after a furious overnight barrage that killed a family of six and sent thousands fleeing their homes.

The five days of violence is the most intense fighting Israel has ever had with Hamas, and is the worst Jewish-Arab violence in Israel in decades.

The fighting started Monday when Hamas, claiming to be defending Jerusalem, fired a barrage of long-range rockets toward the city in response to what it said were provocations from Israel. Israel then responded with a series of airstrikes.

The Hamas militant group governs Gaza.

This current increase in violence was triggered following clashes earlier this month in Jerusalem among Palestinians, Israeli police and right-wing Jews, according to the Washington Post.

Tensions have been high since mid-April, partly because of efforts by Israeli settlers to evict several Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem after legal disputes.