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Fears of ‘full-scale war’ as Israel-Palestinian clashes kill 55

By ET news

Relentless rocket fire and rioting in mixed Jewish-Arab towns fuelled growing fears Wednesday that violence between Israel and Palestinians that has claimed 55 lives could spiral into “full-scale war”.

Palestinian militants have launched more than 1,000 rockets since Monday, said Israel’s army, which has launched hundreds of air strikes on Hamas and other Islamist groups in the crowded costal enclave of Gaza.

The most intense hostilities in seven years have killed at least 48 people in Gaza, including 14 children, two Palestinians in the West Bank, and five Israelis, triggered by weekend unrest at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

As world powers voiced growing alarm and the UN Security Council readied for another emergency meeting on the bloody crisis, the UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland warned that “we’re escalating towards a full-scale war”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of emergency in the mixed Jewish-Arab Israeli city of Lod, where police said “wide-scale riots erupted among some of the Arab residents”.

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