Hundreds of Israeli companies went on strike on Sunday as a sign of solidarity with more than 130 hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip, as Hamas fired more rockets into Israel and three Palestinians were killed in the West Bank.
A 14-year-old boy was fatally shot in the chest during an Israeli military operation in Jericho, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the report was being investigated.
In another incident near Hebron, the IDF said a Palestinian driver had broken through an area cordoned off by the army. The soldiers who pursued the vehicle were fired upon. They returned fire and “eliminated” two of the occupants.
“The rifle used by the terrorists, an axe and ammunition were found at the scene,” an army statement said. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the death of the two men.
The Israeli military meanwhile shot dead two teenagers near Ramallah in the West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. The Israeli army said late on Sunday that its soldiers had opened fire on two Palestinians who it said had thrown an explosive device at a military base.
The Palestinian ministry said those killed were 16 and 17.
Since the start of the war on October 7, following a bloody attack by the Palestinian Islamist Hamas on Israel, violence in the West Bank has worsened, with more than 330 Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers or illegal settlers.
Meanwhile in the Israeli harbour town of Ashdod north of Gaza, warning sirens blared, the IDF said. It gave no details of damage or casualties.
There were also rocket alerts in the nearby towns of Javne and Ben Sakai, Israeli media reported, saying debris from a missile fell over Ashdod. There were no casualties.
With the advance of the Israeli armed forces deep into the Gaza Strip, the shelling of Israel from the coastal area has decreased significantly. However, Hamas units and other militant groups are still occasionally firing rockets.
In Israel, the umbrella organization of trade unions, Histadrut, marked 100 days since the start of the Gaza war by going on strike and leaving businesses shuttered.
At the beginning of the strike, thousands of participants in a rally organized by relatives and supporters of the hostages remained silent for 100 seconds as a sign of solidarity. The 24 hour rally in Tel Aviv was set to end on Sunday evening.
Histadrut leader Arnon Ben-David said at the rally: “[Israel is] in the middle of a terrible dream, and I want to wake up from this terrible dream and create a new Israel.”
“We are striking today to work together to rebuild the land of Israel. We will rebuild everything they have tried to destroy.”
The Israeli army has been waging a full-scale military campaign in the densely populated Gaza Strip in response to coordinated attacks on Israel by fighters from the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7. The militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped around 240.
Israel estimates that 136 hostages are still being held in Gaza and that two dozen of them have died, some killed during Israeli bombardment or shot by Israeli soldiers even as they thought they were being rescued.
According to the Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza, about 24,000 Palestinians have been killed and some 60,600 others injured in the sealed-off coastal strip since the beginning of the Israeli campaign. These figures cannot currently be independently verified, but the UN regards them as generally credible.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reaffirmed her hope for the release of all hostages. “We will not give up, we will not let up in our work until all Hamas hostages are back home,” Baerbock wrote on the social media platform X on Sunday.
“For 100 days, children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends have been missing in Israel. 100 days of uncertainty, despair, grief – and hope.”
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) renewed its appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire.
“The massive death, destruction, displacement, hunger, loss and grief of the last 100 days are staining our shared humanity,” UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini wrote in a statement.