6-year-old critically hurt, 5 others wounded by direct rocket hit on Sderot home

Multiple people wounded as fresh violence erupts in Jewish-Arab cities, curfew begins in Lod; 1,200 rockets fired from Gaza; 6 killed in Israel, 65 in Gaza

  • The scene of a direct rocket hit on a building in Sderot, southern Israel, on May 12, 2021 (Sderot Municipality)
    The scene of a direct rocket hit on a building in Sderot, southern Israel, on May 12, 2021 (Sderot Municipality)
  • Rescuers and people gather amidst the rubble in front of al-Shourouk tower that collapsed after being hit by an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City, on May 12, 2021 (Mohammed ABED / AFP)
    Rescuers and people gather amidst the rubble in front of al-Shourouk tower that collapsed after being hit by an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City, on May 12, 2021 (Mohammed ABED / AFP)
  • IDF artillery seen firing into Gaza near the Israeli border with the Strip on May 12, 2021, following heavy rocket and missile barrage fired into Israel, May 12, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    IDF artillery seen firing into Gaza near the Israeli border with the Strip on May 12, 2021, following heavy rocket and missile barrage fired into Israel, May 12, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Israeli soldiers near the site of where a jeep was hit by an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza, May 12, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israeli soldiers near the site of where a jeep was hit by an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza, May 12, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, 21, from the Nahal Infantry Brigade, who was killed when an anti-tank guided missile struck his jeep north of the Gaza Strip on May 12, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)
    Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, 21, from the Nahal Infantry Brigade, who was killed when an anti-tank guided missile struck his jeep north of the Gaza Strip on May 12, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)
  • Relatives walk out of the damaged home of Nadine, 16, and Khalil Awaad, a father and daughter who were killed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in their village of Dahmash, May 12, 2021. (AP Photos/Heidi Levine)
    Relatives walk out of the damaged home of Nadine, 16, and Khalil Awaad, a father and daughter who were killed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in their village of Dahmash, May 12, 2021. (AP Photos/Heidi Levine)
  • An Israeli man walks past the remains of a rocket fired by the Palestinian Hamas terror group from the Gaza Strip, which was destroyed by Israel's Iron Dome aerial defense system, on May 12, 2021 in Ashkelon (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
    An Israeli man walks past the remains of a rocket fired by the Palestinian Hamas terror group from the Gaza Strip, which was destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system, on May 12, 2021 in Ashkelon (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
  • Israeli soldiers near the site of where a jeep went up in flames, injuring 2 and killing one, following a direct hit by a missile fired from Gaza, in Netiv Ha'asara, May 12, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israeli soldiers near the site of where a jeep went up in flames, injuring 2 and killing one, following a direct hit by a missile fired from Gaza, in Netiv Ha’asara, May 12, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • A young girl is comforted by her father next to a house damaged by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Yehod, central Israel, May 12, 2021 (AP Photo/Heidi Levine)
    A young girl is comforted by her father next to a house damaged by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Yehod, central Israel, May 12, 2021 (AP Photo/Heidi Levine)
  • Man carries a Torah scroll from a torched synagogue in the central Israeli city of Lod, following a night of heavy rioting on May 12, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Man carries a Torah scroll from a torched synagogue in the central Israeli city of Lod, following a night of heavy rioting on May 12, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes in retaliation for rocket fire, Gaza City, May 12, 2021 (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
    Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes in retaliation for rocket fire, Gaza City, May 12, 2021 (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
  • Truck driver shelters during a rocket siren near Ashkelon, May 12, 2021 (Gili Yaari/Flash90)
    Truck driver shelters during a rocket siren near Ashkelon, May 12, 2021 (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

The Times of Israel is liveblogging Wednesday’s events as they unfold. For a recap of Tuesday’s events, click here.

Young Arab man said shot and moderately wounded in Lod

A young Arab man is shot and moderately wounded in Lod, Channel 12 reports.

It is not clear who shot him. He has been taken to hospital.

Jewish man seriously hurt in ‘lynch’ in Acre; Jewish-Arab violence in Haifa, other cities

Violence is once again spreading through Jewish-Arab towns this evening, despite the massive deployment of police and Border Police in such cities to maintain the peace.

In Acre, a Jewish man aged around 30 has been seriously wounded after being pelted with rocks by Arab rioters in what has been described as a lynching. He suffered a head injury.

Meanwhile, Jewish protesters in the city march and call out “Death to Arabs.”

In Haifa, Jews pelted an Arab man in a car with rocks, reports indicate. He accelerated and hit one of the rioters, wounding him.

In Lod, a police car has once again been set alight by rioters. Some unrest has been reported despite the curfew that entered in effect at 8 p.m.

Channel 12 reports Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to send soldiers into cities to keep the peace, but that Defense Minister Gantz is opposed.

At least 20 wounded by rockets in Ashkelon

At least 20 people are wounded in Ashkelon this evening due to rocket attacks, according to multiple reports.

Chief rabbi pans Jewish violence: ‘We must be light unto nations, not opposite’

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef puts out a statement imploring Jews not to turn violent against Arab citizens.

“Innocent Israeli civilians are attacked by terror organizations, the blood runs hot and our hearts are outraged, the scenes are difficult to watch. But we mustn’t be dragged to provocations and to hurting people or harming property,” he says.

He adds that the Torah does not permit one to take the law into one’s own hands. “The work of restoring order must be left to police,” he says. “We must be a light unto the nations, and not, God forbid, the opposite.”

Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak, on March 29, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Blinken calls Netanyahu, affirms support; Russian FM seeks Quartet meeting

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reaffirm America’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza.

The State Department says he also repeated US calls for a de-escalation of violence and the Biden administration’s belief that both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in safety and security.

According to the State Department, Blinken also told Netanyahu that as he and President Joe Biden have said in the past, the administration believes Israelis and Palestinians should “enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy.”

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calls for an urgent meeting of the Middle East Quartet in order to halt violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

Speaking alongside United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Lavrov says: “Today we’ve come to the common opinion that the most pressing task is to convene the Quartet of international mediators — Russia, the United States, the UN and the EU.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks to the media in Moscow, Russia, on April 16, 2021. (Yuri Kochetkov/Pool Photo via AP)

Sirens sound again in Ashdod and Ashkelon; Iron Dome intercepts rockets

Sirens sound again in Ashdod and Ashkelon.

Dozens of rockets are launched. Most appear to have been intercepted by Iron Dome.

Home Front Command instructs Ashkelon residents to remain in sheltered spaces until further notice.

Jews riot in Tiberias; Smotrich pans Jewish violence: ‘We are not like them!’

After rioting in Bat Yam, there are also reports of Jewish extremists rioting and attacking Arabs in Tiberias.

Channel 12 reports a vehicle was attacked by Jews, with one person lightly hurt by rocks. A policeman was also hurt while clashing with the rioters.

Far-right MK Bezalel Smotrich urges Jewish rioters to stop the violence.

“My Jewish brothers, stop!” he says. “We are not like them! We mustn’t come to this violence. Self-defense in the face of terror and rioters — yes; unprovoked violence and destruction of property — under no circumstances.”

Islamic Jihad threatens 9 p.m. barrage, ‘a terrifying death’

Islamic Jihad’s armed wing threatens to send another barrage of rockets towards Israel at 9:00 p.m.

“The time of glory,” a picture published by the terror group states, promising “a terrifying death.”

Rockets are launched towards Israel from Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 12, 2021 (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Military said to present security cabinet with options for Gaza strikes

As members of the security cabinet meet to consider Israel’s next steps, Channel 12 reports that the military has provided them with various options for upcoming strikes on Gaza, including on various terror figures.

The report says the IDF is asking political leaders for more time to achieve decisive gains against Hamas prior to a ceasefire.

The ministers discuss an Egyptian offer of a ceasefire that Israel rejected. Egyptian officials have made comments to that effect.

Police say 14 sites in Ashkelon hit in rocket attack; empty preschool also hit

Police say they are deployed at 14 sites in Ashkelon following rocket attacks on the city, and in three sites in Sderot. It is not clear whether each of the sites was hit by a rocket.

A rocket also hit an empty preschool in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, causing damage.

A preschool is damaged by a rocket in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, May 12, 2021 (Courtesy)

Channel 12 reports the apartment directly hit by the rocket in Sderot was empty at the time it was hit, as the family had left temporarily due to the ongoing attacks.

Jewish extremists attack, vandalize Arab shops in Bat Yam

Dozens of right-wing Jewish extremists are rioting in Bat Yam, attacking and vandalizing businesses owned by Arabs.

Posts calling for participation in the violence were distributed on social media earlier.

Bat Yam’s Mayor Zvika Brot says police have arrested some of the young men. He says police knew in advance of the plans by the group, and asserts they are not residents of the city.

IDF says it bombed Islamic Jihad team preparing to launch rockets

The Israel Defense Forces says one of its aircraft bombed a Palestinian Islamic Jihad team as it was preparing to launch rockets into Israel from the central Gaza Strip.

“The cell was attacked as it was making preparations for rocket launches at Israeli territory,” the military says.

6-year-old critically hurt, 6 others wounded by direct rocket hit on Sderot home

The scene of a direct rocket hit on a building in Sderot, southern Israel, on May 12, 2021 (Sderot Municipality)

The scene of a direct rocket hit on a building in Sderot, southern Israel, on May 12, 2021 (Sderot Municipality)

A six-year-old boy has been critically injured by a direct rocket hit on a house in Sderot.

The boy’s mother is seriously wounded, a five-year-old is moderately wounded and four others are lightly hurt.

Channel 12 reports that the rocket hit one home in an apartment complex (shown in the main photo) while a piece of shrapnel ricocheted to another home and managed to pierce a fortified room and hit the family.

A photo shows the shrapnel entered through the room’s window. It is not immediately clear how it got through, as the window should be protected by a secured metal barrier. Media speculate that the window either was not closed properly, or not built properly.

Hamas says it fired 130 rockets into Israel in latest barrage

Hamas says it fired 130 rockets at Israel a short time ago, including at the country’s center, in retaliation for a strike on a multi-story building in Gaza City.

The group says its barrage was a response to Israel’s leveling of the al-Shourouk tower.

A view of the latest rocket attacks:

Unrest, clashes reported in Lod ahead of curfew

Reports of several rock-throwing incidents and vehicles being vandalized in Lod, where a police-enforced curfew is set to enter into effect at 8 p.m.

A number of clashes are reported between Arabs and Jews.

3 hurt, one seriously as rocket hits home in Sderot; another hits Ashkelon house

Three people have been hurt, one of them seriously, as a rocket hits a home in Sderot, near Gaza.

A rocket also hits a home in the city of Ashkelon.

Several communities near Gaza lose power after fresh rocket barrage

Several communities in the southern Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council have lost power following the latest rocket barrage from Gaza, a spokesperson for the municipality says.

The spokesperson says the details are being looked into and that the rockets also sparked a fire in one of the regional council’s communities.

Fresh rocket warning sirens sound in Tel Aviv area, southern communities

Fresh rocket warning sirens sound in Tel Aviv and the surrounding area.

Rocket warning sirens also sound in southern communities near the Gaza Strip.

Military issues names and photos of 6 Hamas commanders killed in airstrikes

The military issues the names and photos of six Hamas commanders killed in airstrikes today.

They include weapons production experts, a local “brigade commander” and an intelligence official.

Blinken implores Israel to avoid civilian deaths, backs right to self-defense

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken implores Israel to avoid civilian deaths, even as he defends the Jewish state’s right to attack Gaza in response to Hamas rocket fire.

“I think Israel has an extra burden in trying to do everything they possibly can to avoid civilian casualties, even as it is rightfully responding in defense of its people,” Blinken says, calling images of dead Palestinian children “harrowing.”

“We’re deeply concerned about what we’re seeing there,” he says. “The loss of any civilian life is a tragedy.”

He says he’s asked Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr “to go to the region immediately to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He will bring to bare his decades of experience, and in particular, he will urge on my behalf and on behalf of President Biden a de-escalation of violence. We are very focused on this.”

On Feb. 26, 2021 Secretary Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool, File)

He also says the US “remains committed to a two-state solution. This violence takes us further away from that goal.”

He adds: “We condemn and I condemn again the rocket attacks in the strongest possible terms. We believe Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live with safety and security and will continue to engage with Israelis, Palestinians and other regional partners to urge de-escalation and to bring calm.”

Blinken adds that there is a clear and absolute distinction between Hamas, which targets civilians while “indiscriminately raining down rockets,” and Israel that is defending itself.

“But whenever we see civilian casualties, and particularly when we see children caught in the crossfire losing their lives, that has a powerful impact.”

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