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Protest in Cape Town in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza

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RODGER BOSCH/AFP or licensors -

Protest

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Cape Town in South Africa in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Tension between Palestinians and Jerusalem have deteriorated since Israeli riot police clashed with large crowds of Palestinians on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Israel and Hamas exchanged heavy fire.

At least 26 Palestinians were killed and 125 others were injured in Gaza.

Nine children were among those killed in the blockaded Gaza strip, controlled by the Islamist movement.

At least 30 Israelis have been injured, including two women in critical condition in the southern community of Ashkelom, according to the emergency response service Magen David Adom.

More than 300 rockets have been fired by Palestinian militants towards Israel since Monday, with over 90% intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.

Israel fighter jets and attack helicopters have carried out more than 130 strikes on military targets in the enclave, Conricus said.

He added that they have killed 15 Hamas commanders, while the group Islamic Jihad confirmed two of its senior figures were also killed.

More rockets were launched from the coastal enclave Tuesday, as Hamas' armed wing the Qassam Brigades vowed to turn the southern Israeli community of Ashkelon into "a hell".

Tensions in Jerusalem have flared into the city's worst disturbances since 2017 in the days since Israeli riot police clashed with large crowds of Palestinians.

Nightly unrest since then at the Al-Aqsa compound in annexed east Jerusalem has left more than 700 Palestinians wounded. This has drawn international calls for de-escalation and sharp rebukes from across the Muslim world.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said "all sides need to de-escalate, reduce tensions, take practical steps to calm things down". He strongly condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas, saying they "need to stop immediately".