The situation in the West Bank seems to have entered the phase where it resembles a vicious cycle. Strikes from Israel, warrant an even more severe response from Gaza, and vice versa.
On May 12th, at least three buildings in Gaza city were wiped out. The last building, known as al-Shuruq Tower, collapsed after receiving multiple strikes from combat drones and fighter jets.
Throughout the day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out strikes that took the lives of 6 Palestinian commanders.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health revealed that 56 people, including 14 children and five women, were killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza, as of the evening of May 12.
After the spike in Israeli strike activity, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas Movement, attacked an Israeli natural gas platform off the coast of the Gaza Strip.
Hundreds of Hamas rockets targeted the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Netivot and Sderot.
The military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the al-Quds Brigades, announced that it had fired “dozens of rockets” at Ashkelon, Sderot, Dimona and Ashdod as well as at the Israeli capital Tel Aviv.
Some of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. However, many others reached their targets inflicting some material losses. In Ashkelon, seven people were injured, with a child in critical condition.
Overall, Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel have resulted in five civilian deaths as of the evening of May 12th. An Israeli soldier was also killed as a result of a missile strike.
The situation is quickly deteriorating, with the United States and Egypt notably attempting to broker a truce. Israel is rejecting any such scenario.
On the evening of May 12th, the Israeli security cabinet approved a plan to intensify military attacks on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed its members that Israel has officially rejected a Hamas proposal for a ceasefire.
Tel Aviv simply said that the punitive campaign was still far from over, and strikes would continue with increasing intensity.
The situation in Israel itself is nearing a civil war in many of the Jewish-Arab mixed cities. Israeli television showed live footage of a crowd of Jewish Israelis attempting to lynch a presumed Arab man. Police was nowhere to be found.
Jewish protesters in Bat Yam, as well as the northern cities of Tiberias and Acre, marched through the streets, and footage circulating on social media captured crowds of men in multiple locations chanting “Death to Arabs” and vandalizing Arab-owned businesses.
Social media footage shows groups attempting to burst into Arab Israeli’s houses and the ensuing fights, the situation in the city of Lod is still critical, and many other towns are reaching a critical point too.