Palestinian men sit amidst debris near the al-Sharouk tower, which housed the bureau of the Al-Aqsa television channel in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City, on May 13, 2021. Picture: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP
Palestinian men sit amidst debris near the al-Sharouk tower, which housed the bureau of the Al-Aqsa television channel in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City, on May 13, 2021. Picture: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP

Gaza health authorities say 17 Palestinians were killed after Israeli air strikes

By AFP Time of article published May 16, 2021

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Brussels - While European Union foreign ministers will hold urgent video talks on the escalating fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, Gaza health authorities have announced that 17 people killed in Sunday air strikes by Israel.

On Sunday, Gaza's health ministry said that Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed 17 Palestinians, raising the death toll in the crowded coastal enclave since bombardments escalated last Monday to 174.

Among the people killed are 47 children, it said. In Israel, 10 people have been killed in total, with barrages of rockets fired from Gaza.

Following the recent escalation in violence between the two countries, the European Union's foreign policy chief said the bloc’s foreign ministers will discuss the matter on Tuesday.

"In view of the ongoing escalation between Israel and Palestine and the unacceptable number of civilian casualties, I am convening an extraordinary VTC of the EU Foreign Ministers on Tuesday," Josep Borrell wrote on Twitter Sunday.

"We will coordinate and discuss how the EU can best contribute to end the current violence."

The heaviest fighting since 2014 between Israel and Islamist group Hamas, sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, has claimed 174 lives in the crowded coastal enclave of Gaza and killed 10 people in Israel since Monday.

The EU says Borrell has been conducting "intense" diplomatic efforts to try to help de-escalate the violence -- holding talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and the top diplomats from neighbouring nations.

"The EU's priority and message in this context remains clear: violence must end now," the bloc's foreign  service said in a statement Saturday.

The EU's 27 nations often struggle to find a common position over the conflict with some members including Germany, Austria and Slovenia firmly supporting Israel's right to defend itself and others urging it show greater restraint.

AFP

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