As of 12 May 2021, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hamas militants have fired approximately 1,050 rockets from Gaza into Israel since 10 May. Officials with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) indicate that at least 500 of those rockets have reached Israel, and another 200 fell into the Gaza strip. Rockets fired from Gaza have targeted Beersheba, Holon, Rishon LeZion and Tel Aviv. Since the conflict began, at least six Israelis have been killed in rocket attacks and 200 others have been injured, while 48 Palestinians have been killed and 250 more have been injured in Israeli airstrikes. Unrest across Israel has resulted in injury to 700 Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The IDF retaliatory airstrikes have hit at least 500 targets in the Gaza Strip – including at least two high-rise buildings and the central police headquarters in Gaza city. One of the high-rises was Al-Jawhara tower, where several media organizations are housed. Reports indicate the IDF is deploying tanks to the border of the Gaza Strip; however, this does not necessarily indicate that a ground invasion of Gaza is imminent. The escalation began on 11 May, when Hamas and PIJ began firing hundreds of rockets from the Gaza Strip toward Tel Aviv and other cities in central Israel. Flights to and from Ben Gurion International Airport (LLBG/TLV) were temporarily suspended and inbound flights were diverted to Larnaca International Airport (LCLK/LCA) in Cyprus, but operations have since resumed.

Unrest has also broken out across Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared a state of emergency in the city of Lod – located approximately 25 km (16 mi) southeast of Tel Aviv — after protesters clashed with security personnel and set 30 vehicles and a synagogue on fire. Authorities also redeployed 16 border police companies from the West Bank to Lod in an attempt to quell the unrest.

In Ramle – adjacent to Lod — ultra-nationalist Jewish demonstrators assaulted cars belonging to Arabs, while in the port city of Acre, Arab protesters set fire to a Jewish-owned restaurant and hotel. Unrest also took place in Hebron, Umm al-Fahm on the border to the West Bank, the coastal city of Jisr al-Zarqa, Jaffa near Tel Aviv, Rahat and Qalansawe. Fires attributed to arson have occurred across the area of Galilee in northern Israel and repeated confrontations between Israeli security personnel and Palestinians took place in Jerusalem at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Analyst Comment: Due to the high level of violence, the large number of munitions involved, and the high likelihood of further attacks, UnitedHealthcare Global has raised the threat level for Israel to 4 (High) from 3 (Medium). In addition, the threat level for Tel Aviv has been raised to 4 (High) from 3 (Medium). The likelihood of further escalation of hostilities between the Gaza-based militant groups and the Israeli military is very high, and there is also a very high risk of continued internal unrest and ethnic strife between Arabs and Jews within Israel, including mob violence.