As of 17 May 2021, the Israeli military and various factions in Gaza are continuing to clash, with militants in Gaza firing rockets toward Israeli cities, and Israel responding with airstrikes on militant targets in Gaza. At approximately 1340 local time (1040 UTC) a rocket fired by Palestinian militants hit an apartment building in the city of Ashdod, injuring eight Israeli civilians and trapping at least one person under the rubble. Similar rocket attacks occurred on 15 and 16 May, targeting Be’er Sheva, Ashdod, Netivot and Ashkelon. Palestinian militant groups have launched at least 3,000 rockets since the start of the conflict on 10 May and killed 10 Israeli civilians. Meanwhile, Israeli forces confirmed two significant airstrikes against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) targets in the Gaza Strip. The strike on Hamas targeted the organization’s maritime wing, and foiled an attack using a drone boat that would have targeted Israeli naval vessels off the Gazan coast. Meanwhile, the strike in Gaza’s Khan Younis neighborhood against PIJ killed a top commander. A spokesperson for the Israeli military stated that the Israeli air force has conducted 1,080 airstrikes against militant groups in the Gaza Strip since fighting began on 10 May. Health officials in the Gaza Strip report that at least 188 people have been killed in Israeli strikes so far, including at least 55 children.

Meanwhile, unrest continues across Israel and the Palestinian Territories. On 17 May Israeli authorities arrested five Arab Israelis suspected of an attempted lynching of Jewish motorists near the town of Lakiya. Israeli authorities denied access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for non-Muslims on 16 May amid rumors of Jewish right-wing activists entering the compound in an attempt to carry out unspecified illegal activities. In the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, a car rammed a group of Israeli police officers. Seven officers were injured and the driver – a Palestinian man – was shot. Fighting occurred between Palestinians and Israeli security personnel in Beit El – located approximately 5 km (3 mi) north-northeast of Ramallah — in the West Bank. Clashes also occurred between IDF soldiers and Palestinians near Ramallah. Organized Jewish groups continue to carry out attacks in places such as Lod, located approximately 16 km southeast of Tel Aviv. Scattered violence is occurring across the country as there continue to be reports of isolated clashes between Arab and Jewish residents. Demonstrators also rallied at the Israeli borders with Jordan and Lebanon on 15 May. Buses transported people in Lebanon to the Israeli border at Metula to protest Israeli actions against Palestinians. Demonstrators also rallied again near the King Hussein Bridge in Jordan (the Allenby Bridge in Israel) near the border crossing into the West Bank. IDF sources reported that they prevented a group of individuals from infiltrating Israel via the Lebanese border at Metula overnight with gunfire, and that they later found items believed to be bombs near the attempted incursion site.

On 15 May, officials with Etihad Airways and flydubai air carriers canceled flights to Israel effective 16 May due to the ongoing rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Several American and European air carriers previously canceled flights to Israel. In related news, officials at Ben Gurion Airport (LLBG/TLV) in Tel Aviv diverted all inbound flights to Ramon Airport (LLER/ETM) – located approximately 20 km north of Eilat — during 15-16 May. Reports indicate that inbound flights into the facility have resumed as of 17 May, but travelers should check with their airline regarding flight cancellations and plan for possible diversions.

In response to the escalating violence, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on 14 May issued updated travel advice for Israel, which reads in part as follows: “The FCDO advises against all travel to: Gaza, the Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar, within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the ‘Blue Line’) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town and east of Route 98 along the Syrian border…The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the remainder of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories based on the current assessment of security and COVID-19 risks.”