Feature: War looms over Gaza as tension with Israel goes on for 3rd day

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-05 21:53:05|Editor: ZX
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GAZA, May 5 (Xinhua) -- An atmosphere of war has been looming on Sunday over the Gaza Strip as tension with Israel has been going on for the third day amid deep concerns that the situation might escalate to an open military confrontation.

Overnight and on Sunday morning, two million populations of the Gaza Strip have been living a scary night with huge sounds of bombings.

Dozens of rockets were launched from all over the Gaza Strip into Israel and Israeli war jets have been striking on constructions, military posts and facilities.

On Sunday, streets in the Gaza Strip were almost empty of traffic and pedestrians, where most of the populations stayed at home, just one day before the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Schools, universities, banks and ministries closed down while Israel closed the sea for fishing and the crossing points for goods shipment.

Mahmoud Akkel, in his early 40s, told Xinhua that his 12-member family became fully displaced after Israeli warplanes destroyed his house in Nuseirat Refugee Camp in central Gaza Strip.

"My family loses our house and we have to wait for a long time to rebuild it. This is not fair because Israel commits its crimes and no one cares," Akkel said while standing on the debris of his destroyed house.

Ali al-Haddad, store keeper who sells children's garments, expressed his deep shock when his store was destroyed on Saturday night.

"My store is in a building that consists of six floors. The building was completely damaged by the Israeli warplanes missiles," he said.

Salama Marouf, director of the government press office in Gaza, said in an emailed press statement that since Saturday morning, Israel has waged more than 230 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, adding that five media offices and four houses were completely destroyed.

"One mosque and ten centres that belong to the government in Gaza were destroyed," Marouf said.

"The Israeli assaults are aiming to destroy the infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, where dozens of housing units were either totally or partially damaged within the last three days," Marouf added.

No injuries were reported in the airstrikes on the buildings because the Israeli army warns its inhabitants to evacuate from them by firing a light missile from a drone.

After the buildings are completely evacuated, warplanes completely destroyed them, according to security sources.

Mamdouh Ajour, who lives in a building in Gaza City, told Xinhua that he and his family had spent a scary night in fear that Israeli warplanes would target their building.

The markets were busy on Sunday, where the populations rushed to buy their basic needs of food supplies in fear that there will be a large-scale war waged by Israel similar to the wars that were launched on the Gaza Strip over the past 12 years.

Israel decided to close the crossing points with the Gaza Strip until a further notice because of the escalating situation in the coastal enclave. Fishermen were also banned from fishing off the coast.

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza announced that since Sunday, nine Palestinians were killed and more than 70 were wounded in the Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling on the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, hundreds of angry Palestinian mourners buried the bodies of a pregnant woman and a 14-month girl, who were killed in an Israeli army airstrike close to their homes in eastern Gaza City on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Israel Radio reported that 300 rockets were fired into Israel on Saturday and Sunday.

The Israeli army announced that on Saturday, its warplanes struck 60 targets that belong to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

The army added that since the beginning of the escalation on Friday, the Israeli army had so far struck 200 targets all over the Gaza Strip, including an underground tunnel.

Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Rodwan threatened Israel that the ongoing Israeli escalation on the Gaza Strip would urge the Palestinian factions to launch more rockets.