Iran helped Hamas develop missile technology used to attack Israel

Smoke rises from a tower after it was hit by Israeli air strikes amid a flare-up of Israeli Palestinian violence in Gaza City May 12. — Reuters

Israeli soldiers fire a 155mm self-propelled howitzer towards the Gaza Strip. Eight Israelis have been killed in the rocket attacks, including a 6-year-old boy.

Hamas' militant wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, announced earlier this week that it is deliberately targeting Israel's secretive Dimona nuclear reactor site, known as the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center, which lies east of the the Gaza Strip far into the Negev Desert.

Witnesses told Anadolu Agency that Israeli forces used live bullets, rubber-coated bullets, tear gas canisters and stun grenades against protesters.

At least 119 people have been killed since Monday, including 31 children and 19 women, and more than 830 wounded, according to health authority in Gaza.

Three rockets have also been fired toward Israel from Syria but there are no reports of any damage, according to the Israeli army. Families arrived at United Nations-operated schools in vehicles, by foot and on donkeys, bringing with them essential items such as blankets and bread.

The United States, which had blocked an originally scheduled session on Friday, agreed to move the session-requested by Tunisia, Norway and China-to Sunday.

"The U.S. will continue to actively engage in diplomacy at the highest levels to try to de-escalate tensions", American ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield wrote on Twitter.

In response, Israel began carrying out airstrikes on alleged Hamas-affiliated targets in Gaza, with the military operation dubbed "Operation Guardian of the Four Walls", in reference to Jerusalem.

"The Security Council should not morally equate Israel's defensive military activities with Hamas' indiscriminate war crimes".

Israel has faced worldwide criticism for civilian casualties during three previous wars in Gaza.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the United States would use its relationships in the region to try to help end the crisis diplomatically.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces. They were soon joined by thousands of others.

Top US State Department official Hady Amr landed in Tel Aviv on Friday in an attempt to deescalate tensions. The increased hostilities culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews.

The recent violence is the biggest battle between the Palestinian militant group and Israeli forces since the 2014 war in Gaza.

But in the latest attacks on Israel, Hamas has used medium-range rockets with a range of 25 miles, as well as the M-75 and J-80 rockets, which have ranges of between 50-60 miles.

In Washington, US president Joe Biden said he spoke with Mr Netanyahu about calming the fighting but also backed the Israeli leader by saying "there has not been a significant over-reaction".

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