Israel’s airstrikes on the Gaza Strip that have resulted in at least 20 civilian deaths, including nine children, “are an act of terrorism,” US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said on Monday.
“Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.”
In addition to the deaths, the Palestinian Health Ministry said 65 people were injured in the airstrikes.
The Israeli strikes came after Palestinian groups launched around 100 rockets, including seven on Jerusalem, while the rest targeted Ashkelon, Sderot and settlements near the Gaza Strip.
The rocket strikes came in response to continued Israeli raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the eviction of Palestinian families from the Palestinian-majority Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
At least 305 people were injured as Israeli police on Monday stormed al-Aqsa in occupied East Jerusalem and attacked Palestinians who were on guard to prevent possible raids by far-right Jewish Israelis, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. The mosque is the third holiest in Islam.
Tensions have been on the rise in East Jerusalem amid planned evictions of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which is located just north of the Old City. Palestinians protesting in solidarity with residents have been targeted by Israeli forces and settler groups.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognized by the international community.