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Fighting has raged for a fifth day between Israeli forces and Hamas in Gaza. More than 120 Palestinians have died in Gaza, with nearly 1,000 wounded. Eight Israelis have been killed, and violence spread to the West Bank as well. Rockets were also launched at Israel from neighboring Syria, and protests sympathetic to the Palestinians erupted in Lebanon and Jordan. Amna Nawaz reports.
Fighting has raged for a fifth day between Israeli forces and Hamas in Gaza, and violence spread to the West Bank as well.
More than 120 Palestinians have died in Gaza, with nearly 1,000 wounded. Eight Israelis have been killed. Rockets were also launched at Israel from neighboring Syria, and protests sympathetic to the Palestinians erupted in Lebanon and Jordan.
Amna Nawaz has the story.
And a warning:
Some images in this report may disturb viewers.
Palestinian protests today in the West Bank met by Israeli army fire, a new front in the latest round of fighting in the region, today leaving 10 Palestinians dead, that after a predawn barrage over Gaza marked Israel's heaviest bombardment in five days of fighting, responding to constant rocket fire from Hamas, more than 1,000 in five days.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus is spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus:
It was aimed at hitting or striking one of the most important strategic components, military components, that Hamas has, and that's essentially an underground network of tunnels and bunkers and command posts.
We have seen video after video of residential buildings also being struck by your airpower. Why are you targeting those?
Hamas, as a terrorist organization, like many other terrorist organizations, uses civilian infrastructure for their military purposes. What we made sure was that there were no civilians or noncombatants in any of those buildings before we struck it.
Palestinian homes have been hit in Israeli have been hit in Israeli strikes. Today, families in Gaza rummaged through the ruin, salvaging what they could.
Others near Gaza's northern and eastern borders sought shelter in schools run by the United Nations, Hedaya Maarouf and her family among them.
Hedaya Maarouf (through translator):
We were planning to leave during the night, but Israeli drones and jets kept bombarding us.
At daylight, we finally started moving, and we ran to the schools. We could not believe the way our children were screaming. They wanted to leave, and we were shaking for them. When we woke up, we found everything behind us destroyed.
Dr. Mohammad Abu Selmia in Gaza's Shifa Hospital says over half the injuries he's seen are critical.
Dr. Mohammed Abu Selmia (through translator):
Most of the injuries coming to Shifa, the largest hospital in Gaza, are serious, including women and children, old people, from all age groups, mostly shrapnel wounds all over the body. There were also children who had legs or arms amputated, let alone those who came torn apart.
You know civilians have been killed. You know children have been killed. So, what is the acceptable level of civilian casualty for you at this stage?
There's no ratio of acceptable. Every civilian casualty is regrettable. We want to minimize that.
But then, on the other hand, you have to understand Israelis are under constant fire. We have eight dead Israeli civilians who have nothing to do with Gaza and nothing to do with Hamas.
At the White House today, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Israel's use of force.
I think the president believes that Israel has a right to self-defense. The loss of children's lives, the loss of family members' lives, whether it's Palestinian lives or Israeli lives, is incredibly tragic. It's horrific to watch.
That is certainly why our focus is on de-escalating what is happening on the ground.
Three artillery and armored brigades are now positioned at the Gaza border. Last night, the IDF walked back a statement claiming ground operations had already begun.
That's not in the interest of neither Gaza, definitely not the civilians there, but neither the Hamas nor us. I hope that Hamas stops firing. If that ends, that will definitely be a step, a very important step, in the right direction.
When that step will occur remains unknown.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Amna Nawaz.
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Amna Nawaz serves as co-anchor of PBS NewsHour.
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