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After more than a week of fighting, appeals from great powers for calm and a growing number of casualties, the conflict between Israel and Hamas worsened on Tuesday as rockets were also reportedly fired from Lebanon.
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“At around 11:30 pm on Monday, May 17, UNIFIL detected missiles being launched from the general area of Rashaya Al Foukhar north of Kfar Chouba in southern Lebanon,” the United Nations interim force in Lebanon tweeted, according to the Washington Post. “IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] returned artillery fire aimed at the location the missile came from. “
Israel said half a dozen missiles from southern Lebanon had never reached Israeli territory and it was unclear which group was behind the launches. The New York Times reported that Hamas fired 3,350 rockets, killing nine civilians in Israel and at least one soldier.
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The newspaper reported, citing Gaza health officials, that at least 212 Palestinians were killed in the conflict, including 61 children. The UN said at least 800,000 had no access to safe drinking water, the report said.
In a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, President Joe Biden expressed support for a ceasefire between Israel and the militant Hamas rulers in Gaza, but did not immediately call for an immediate halt to eight days of Israeli air strikes and Hamas rocket bombardment killed more than 200 people, most of them Palestinians.
Biden’s carefully worded statement in a White House lecture about his second known phone call to Netanyahu in three days as the attacks continued, put pressure on the government to react more forcefully despite its determination to divert US foreign policy focus away from the Middle East Conflicts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report