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Live Reporting

Edited by Rebecca Seales

All times stated are UK

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  1. We're pausing our live coverage

    Palestinian protesters throw stones during clashes with Israeli troops at Huwwara checkpoint near the West Bank City of Nablus, 18 May 2021

    We're now pausing our live coverage of the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict - many thanks for staying with us.

    To recap, here are the key developments from the past 24 hours:

    • Three Palestinians have died following clashes with the Israeli security forces in the West Bank, with 72 injured, the Palestinian Health Ministry says
    • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, had "received blows it did not expect" and had been set back by "years"
    • Egypt has sent 65 tonnes of medical aid to neighbouring Gaza - the UN said at least six hospitals in the territory had been damaged since the conflict erupted
    • Israel closed crossings into Gaza just hours after opening them to allow in humanitarian aid. It said it was responding to a barrage of mortar shells fired by Palestinian militants into southern Israel
    • Two men from Thailand working at a packaging factory in southern Israel, near the Gaza border, were killed by Palestinian rocket-fire. At least eight others were wounded in the attack.
    • The fighting has now killed 213 Palestinians, according to the health ministry in Gaza. The death toll on the Israeli side rose to 12 today
  2. Funeral held for Jewish man killed in Lod

    Funeral of Israeli man, Yigal Yehoshua, who died after succumbing to his wounds, sustained during Arab-Jewish violence in the mixed city of Lod, at a cemetery in Moshav Hadid
    Image caption: Family and friends attend the funeral of Yigal Yehoshua, a Jewish man killed in clashes with Israeli Arabs

    The funeral has taken place of a Jewish man who died after sustaining serious injuries during violence between Israeli Arabs and Jews in Israel's central city of Lod last week.

    Mourners attended the service for Yigal Yehoshua, 56, who was hit in the head by a large rock or brick thrown by protesters while driving home in Lod, a city not far from Tel Aviv, on 11 May.

    Yehoshua was taken to hospital for treatment, but later died of his injuries.

    A man covers himself with an Israeli flag during the funeral of Israeli man, Yigal Yehoshua, who died after succumbing to his wounds, sustained during Arab-Jewish violence in the mixed city of Lod, at a cemetery in Moshav Hadid, Israel
    Image caption: A mourner drapes himself with an Israeli flag

    At least 12 people were reportedly injured in the clashes that day, which followed the funeral of an Israeli Arab man who died during unrest in the city a day earlier.

  3. BBC reporter in Gaza: Life is on hold

    The BBC's Rushdi Abualouf in Gaza shared this video showing collapsed buildings on a major street there. Trees line one side of the road, while the other is scarred by rubble and twisted metal.

    View more on twitter
  4. Two more Palestinians die after West Bank unrest, officials say

    Palestinian protesters throw stones during clashes with Israeli troops
    Image caption: The Palestinian health ministry said 72 Palestinians are receiving treatment for injuries

    Two more Palestinians have died after they were hit by live fire during clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry has said.

    The ministry said three Palestinians have now died and 72 were injured - five critically - after today's unrest in the area.

    The violence came as Palestinians across the West Bank and in east Jerusalem observed a general strike in support of those under bombardment in the Gaza Strip.

    Israeli's military is yet to comment on the three deaths.

    But in an earlier statement, the Israeli army said its soldiers "responded with fire" after "a number of rioters fired extensively" at them near Ramallah.

    "Two soldiers were injured in their legs, and were evacuated to a hospital for further medical treatment," the military said.

  5. 'I didn't leave the house for four days'

    BBC OS

    The BBC OS radio show on the World Service has been speaking to people across Israel and Gaza to hear their stories and experiences. Today they spoke to a Jewish Israeli mother in the city of Lod, which has seen unrest and violence.

    Katy Berman, a mother of seven and teacher:

    "I personally did not leave the house for 4 days, I was so scared, scared I would get a rock thrown through my car window, scared someone would ambush me...

    "When I met my (Arab) neighbour we spoke about how we felt the night before when we were woke up umpteen times by the sirens. Because rockets are coming, and on top of the rioting we’re having rockets sent over by Hamas in Gaza. So we spoke as two mothers you know, ‘how did you sleep at night?’ and ‘how did your kids sleep at night', and how scary is it.

    "My older kids are very worried about the situation, they’re worried in the way they wish they were here and could help and do something. With my younger kids, they don’t really know what’s going on….. I’m not sure what to tell them, I’m not sure what they’ll understand, how they’ll go in the street – I don’t want them to be scared."

  6. Israeli army issues emergency safety rules for West Bank

    A Palestinian demonstrator takes part in an anti-Israel protest
    Image caption: Israeli reports say the military has issued new safety rules for the West Bank

    Israel's military has enacted emergency security rules in parts of the West Bank, reports say.

    The Times of Israel newspaper said the military had declared a “special situation” in several areas, citing the threat of rocket fire.

    It said the declaration was not related to unrest in the West Bank, which has seen violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli police today.

    Under the rules, schools, universities and workplaces will only be allowed to remain open if they are in the vicinity of a protective area, according to another Israeli newspaper, the Jerusalem Post.

    The paper said Elkana, Karnei Shomron, and Oranit were among the areas where these rules would apply. It did not specify when they would come into force or how long they would apply for.

  7. Hungary rejects 'one-sided' EU statement on Israel

    European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell
    Image caption: The EU's foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, called for an "immediate cessation of all violence"

    Hungary has refused to back a European Union statement that called for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Hungary's foreign minister Peter Szijjarto dismissed the EU's statement on Israel as "one-sided".

    "I have a general problem with these European statements on Israel," Szijjarto told the AFP news agency. He said "these statements do not help, especially not under current circumstances, when the tension is so high."

    His comments came after the EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, called for an "immediate cessation of all violence and the implementation of a ceasefire".

    Borrell said the statement was backed by all EU member states except Hungary.

    In recent years Hungary has been one of Israel's staunchest supporters in Europe. It has blocked several EU efforts to criticise Israeli policies, such as the US move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

  8. Israel prepares for 'intensive night of strikes'

    Palestinian militants can move fast inside the tunnels
    Image caption: Palestinian militants can move fast inside their underground tunnel network (file photo)

    Israel's military is preparing to strike more targets linked to the Palestinian group Hamas's network of underground tunnels in Gaza, the Jerusalem Post reports.

    The newspaper quotes Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Brig Gen Hidai Zilberman as describing "an intensive night ahead of us" as its operations look to strike "new locations".

    The IDF said it had struck dozens of "terror targets" and had already destroyed more than 15km (9.3 miles) of an underground tunnel network belonging to Hamas.

    Tunnel systems used by Hamas fighters have long been an important target for Israeli air raids.

    Earlier today, Brig Gen Zilberman told Israel's Army Radio that the IDF was "not talking about a ceasefire", adding: "We're focused on the firing."

  9. Firefighters tackle Gaza warehouse blaze

    Firefighters try to extinguish a fire that broke out at a paint warehouse in Rafah

    A large blaze has broken out at a paint warehouse in the town of Rafah in Gaza following a reported Israeli strike.

    Eyewitnesses said a shell had hit the property on Tuesday afternoon, Reuters reports. It is not clear why the warehouse would have been targeted.

    Images show firefighters tackling the blaze while workers attempt to rescue stored items.

    Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at a paint warehouse in Rafah, Gaza
    Firefighters try to extinguish a blaze at a paint warehouse in Rafah, Gaza
    Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at a paint warehouse in Rafah, Gaza
  10. Israel has 'set Hamas years back', Netanyahu says

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech
    Image caption: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at an air base

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reaffirmed his government's commitment to its operations against Palestinian militants in Gaza.

    Speaking at an air base a short time ago, Netanyahu said Israel would continue striking targets there "for as long as necessary to restore quiet to the citizens of Israel".

    He said Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, had "received blows it did not expect", setting it back by "years".

    "Our enemies around us can see what price we exact for attacks against us," Netanyahu said.

    The Times of Israel newspaper said rocket alarms sounded at the base near Beersheba during Netanyahu’s visit.

  11. 'Palestinians are ready for a ceasefire'

    Mustafa Barghouti, the West Bank-based leader of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, tells BBC World News: “Palestinians are ready for a ceasefire; it’s Israel that is abstaining from a ceasefire.”

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to end rocket attacks by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza and says its air strikes will continue for “as long as it takes in order to restore calm for all of Israel’s citizens”.

    “If Israel wants to keep shooting and throwing rockets with their F-16 jet fighters… and wants Palestinians not to defend themselves, of course that will not happen,” Mr Barghouti says.

    “A ceasefire means that nobody will send rockets - that nobody will shoot on both sides.”

    Video content

    Video caption: Dr Barghouti: Ceasefire needs both sides not to shoot
  12. Germany pledges €40m aid for Palestinians

    Heiko Maas

    Germany has pledged €40m ($48.9m; £34.4m) in humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza.

    According to the UN more than 52,000 Palestinians have been displaced by the current violence.

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he would "lobby for a better humanitarian supply in Gaza" at a meeting of EU member states today.

    He also condemned rocket attacks on Israel from Hamas, and stressed that Israel had the right to defend itself.

  13. Palestinian killed in clashes at West Bank protest - health officials

    Palestinians take part in a protest in al-Bireh, near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank (18 May 2021)

    A Palestinian protester has been killed in clashes with Israeli security forces on the outskirts of the city of Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

    The ministry said the 25-year-old man was shot in the chest at the entrance to al-Bireh. Another 50 people were injured, five of them seriously, it added.

    The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Israeli forces fired live rounds, rubber-coated bullets and tear gas during a protest against Israel’s air strikes on the Gaza Strip and its actions against Palestinians elsewhere. Palestinian factions had called for a "day of rage".

    The Israeli military said "a number of rioters fired extensively" at its soldiers near Ramallah, and that they "responded with fire". "Two soldiers were injured in their legs, and were evacuated to a hospital for further medical treatment," it added.

    There were also clashes between protesters and Israeli forces in Bethlehem, where the health ministry said nine people were injured, and in occupied East Jerusalem.

  14. Children killed in Gaza 'were part of aid programme'

    A Norwegian aid group has been powerfully drawing attention to the deaths of children in the conflict, noting that a number of young people killed in Gaza were directly receiving its help.

    View more on twitter

    "We are devastated to learn that... children we were helping with trauma were bombarded while they were at home and thought they were safe," the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, added.

    At least two Israeli children have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza by Hamas militants since the start of this latest conflict - and Israel says many more are living in fear.

  15. US: We are not holding back diplomacy

    Blinken

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has denied the US is obstructing diplomacy, after the country refused to back a UN Security Council declaration on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    China has accused the US of hindering the Council's efforts to speak with "one voice".

    But Blinken insists the US is "engaged in quiet, but very intensive diplomacy".

    He said: "... Would any given action or any given statement actually advance the goal of ending the violence?"

    "If we think, going forward, that there's something, including at the United Nations, that would actually effectively advance the objective, we would be for it," he said.

    The UN Security Council is due to meet for a fourth emergency session later on Tuesday.

  16. Germany and Jordan call for 'speedy' ceasefire

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jordan’s King Abdullah II have called for a “speedy” ceasefire to end the hostilities between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

    Mrs Merkel’s spokesman said that both leaders had “agreed that initiatives for a speedy ceasefire should be supported in order to create the conditions for the resumption of political negotiations”.

    French Prime Minister Jean Castex also called for an immediate end to the violence and urged Israel to guarantee unhindered access for aid to Gaza.

  17. Egypt sends tonnes of aid to Gaza

    Wounded Palestinian girl Sara Al-Metrabeeay lies on a bed in Shifa hospital in Gaza City

    Egypt has sent 65 tonnes of medical aid to neighbouring Gaza, as the fighting in the region shows no sign of easing.

    It comes after the UN said at least six hospitals in the territory had been damaged since the conflict erupted more than a week ago.

    Healthcare and other services have also been disrupted by frequent power cuts. The only coronavirus-testing laboratory in Gaza - which has one of the highest rates of positive tests in the world - was knocked out on Monday.

    The supplies sent by Egypt include specialist burns treatment materials as well as "ventilators, oxygen tanks [and] syringes," Health Minister Hala Zayed said.

  18. There was no warning - Thai worker

    Rockets fired from Gaza fly towards Israel
    Image caption: Rockets fired from Gaza fly towards Israel (file photo)

    We earlier posted on reports that Palestinian rockets launched into southern Israel had struck a packaging factory in the Eshkol region and killed two Thai workers.

    Thailand's foreign ministry has now confirmed that two of its citizens died - while eight others were wounded - in the attack at 14:50 local time (11:50 GMT) some 14km (about nine miles) from the border with Gaza.

    The two Thai men had been working at the Obad farming estate in Eshkol town, the ministry said.

    One eyewitness, Adirek Jinseng, a Thai worker at the estate, told the BBC's Thai service that the attack happened as people were resting during their lunch break.

    "I heard two explosions in the sky, but there was no warning siren. More than 10 workers then rushed... to hide in the bunkers," Adirek said, adding that he saw one person killed at the scene and several others with serious injuries.

    A senior Thai diplomat in Israel told the BBC that around 4,000 of the country's citizens had been working within a 100km radius of Gaza. Some were relocated to safer areas over the weekend.

  19. Gaza civilians terrified - UN agency

    Palestinian children, who fled their homes due to Israeli air and artillery strikes, look through a window fence at a UN-run school where they take refuge, in Gaza City
    Image caption: These Palestinian children fled their homes and sought refuge at a UN-run school in Gaza City

    A member of the UN's relief agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa) has told the BBC that civilians in Gaza are "terrified".

    "For me, this has for a couple of days now felt like a full-scale war," says Matthias Schmale, who is in charge of the Unrwa's operations in the territory.

    Some 48,000 people are seeking shelter in 58 of the agency's schools, he says.

    "I heard that at least 8,000 people no longer have a home they can go to because it’s either totally destroyed or severely damaged, and then of course we have people killed.

    "We have a terrified population worried where the next strike, where the next bomb is going to fall from."

  20. Israeli diplomat: We don't want quick fix

    Video content

    Video caption: Mark Regev: Israel is looking for sustainable peace

    Mark Regev, a senior advisor to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, has told the BBC that Israel is looking for "sustainable peace" rather than a short-term fix.

    Regev said such a fix would just become a "prescription for another Gaza war a month from now".

    "We want to come out of this with a solution that will bring a sustainable period of peace and quiet," he said. "Not some quick fix that will fall apart very quickly."