Tel Aviv [Israel], May 12 (ANI): The Israeli army on Wednesday said it has eliminated key intelligence figures of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, including the head of the Hamas military intelligence security department and his deputy.
"Our fighter jets... neutralized key figures of Hamas' intelligence: Hassan Kaogi, head of the Hamas military intelligence security department and his deputy Wail Issa, head of the military intelligence counterespionage department," the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) tweeted.
The ongoing violence marks a dramatic escalation of tensions linked to the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers and access to one of the most sacred sites in the city, which is a key hub for Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
At least 245 Palestinians were injured on Tuesday in clashes with the Israeli army in the West Bank, the Red Crescent said in a statement. According to the Red Crescent, some people were injured by rubber bullets and affected by tear gas.
Clashes in the East Jerusalem area have been going on for several days. More than 1,100 Palestinians were injured in clashes with the Israeli military on May 7-10, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The health ministry run by the Hamas group reported that so far, 32 Palestinians have been killed and 220 people injured in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza since the outbreak of hostilities, The Times of Israel reported.
Palestinian armed groups, meanwhile, had launched "some 250 rockets towards Israel in the past 24 hours" with at least 17 Israeli civilians reportedly injured, the OHCHR official said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern over the situation, including the escalation of violence in Gaza, "which add to the heightened tensions and violence in occupied East Jerusalem", the statement issued by his spokesperson said.
"He is deeply saddened to learn of increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, and of Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza. The Secretary-General's thoughts are with the families of the victims."
He called on Israeli security forces to "exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force", adding that "indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centres is unacceptable." (ANI)