Israeli air strikes hit Gaza City again, and Hamas fires more missile barriers at Israel as fighting begins in week two
Gaza City, Gaza Strip – The Israeli military sparked a wave of heavy air strikes on Gaza early Monday, saying it had destroyed nine miles of militant tunnels and the homes of nine suspected Hamas commanders.
The residents of Gaza were awakened by the night fire, which it described as the heaviest since thenand even more powerful than one and three buildings flattened.
Hamas also pushed ahead and launched rockets from civilian areas in the Gaza Strip into civilian areas in Israel. One slammed into a synagogue in the southern city of Ashkelon hours before the evening service for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Israeli emergency services said. No injuries were reported.
There was no immediate word about the victims of the recent Israeli strikes. A three-story building in Gaza City was badly damaged, but residents said the military warned them 10 minutes beforehand and evacuated everyone. They said many of the air strikes hit the nearby farmland.
Gaza Mayor Yahya Sarraj told Al-Jazeera TV that the air strikes severely damaged roads and other infrastructure. “If the aggression continues, we expect conditions to get worse,” he said.
He also warned that the territory would run out of fuel and other spare parts. The United States has warned that the only power plant in Gaza is in danger of running out of fuel. The area already has daily blackouts of 8-12 hours and tap water is not potable.
The war broke out last Monday when Hamas fired long-range missiles at Jerusalem after weeks of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in the Holy City. The protests centered on the persistent surveillance of a holy site during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the threatened displacement of dozen of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers.
Since then, the Israeli military has launched hundreds of air strikes allegedly targeting Hamas’ militant infrastructure. Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired more than 3,100 rockets at Israel.
At least 188 Palestinians, including 55 children and 33 women, were killed in hundreds of air strikes in Gaza, injuring 1,230 people. Eight people in Israel were killed in rocket attacks from Gaza, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.
“I have not seen this level of destruction in my 14 years of work,” said Samir al-Khatib, a rescue worker in Gaza. “Not even in the 2014 war,” he added, referring to the most destructive of the four wars between Israel and Hamas.
The military said it hit nine houses in different parts of the northern Gaza Strip belonging to “senior commanders” in Hamas, the militant Islamic group that has controlled the territory since it came to power by rival Palestinian forces in 2007.
In the past few days, Israel has targeted the homes of a number of senior Hamas leaders, including Yehiyeh Sinwar, the top leader in the Gaza Strip. The group’s leadership goes underground at the start of the fighting and it is unlikely that anyone was home at the time of the strikes.
The military said it hit 35 “terrorist targets” as well as the tunnels it says are part of an elaborate system called the “metro” that is used by fighters to evade aircraft and hold military equipment smuggle.
In a televised address on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s attacks would continue at “full force” and would “take time” as Israel wants to “impose a heavy price” on the militant Hamas group.
On Sunday’s CBS newscast “Face the Nation”, Netanyahu said Israel will “do everything possible to restore order and calm, as well as the security of our people and deterrence.”
Israel’s air strikes have leveled a number of the tallest buildings in Gaza City that Israel claims contained Hamas’ military infrastructure. Among them was the building that housed The Associated Press Gaza office and other media outlets.
Sally Buzbee, the AP’s editor-in-chief, has called for an independent investigation into Saturday’s air strike. The Israeli military alerted staff and residents about the strike and everyone was able to safely evacuate the building.
Netanyahu claimed that Hamas military intelligence was operating inside the building and said that all evidence would be exchanged through intelligence channels on Sunday. Neither the White House nor the State Department would say if anyone had been seen.
The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday that Israeli officials showed the US a “smoking gun” proving that Hamas was operating from inside the building. CBS News has not confirmed this report.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders on Sunday asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel’s bombing of the AP building and other media organizations as a possible war crime. The Paris-based group said in a letter to the court’s attorney general that the offices of 23 international and local media organizations had been destroyed in the past six days. The attacks were designed to “reduce, if not neutralize, the ability of the media to inform the public”.
President Biden mentioned the ongoing conflict in Israel during his pre-recorded remarks that resulted in a virtual celebration of Eid on Sunday, marking the end of Ramadan.
“We also believe that Palestinians and Israelis alike deserve to live in security and enjoy equal levels of freedom, prosperity and democracy. And my government will continue to involve Palestinians, Israelis and other regional partners to work towards sustainable work . ” Quiet.”
Efforts by China, Norway and Tunisia to get the UN body to issue a statement, including a call to cease hostilities, have been blocked by the United States, which diplomats said feared it could affect diplomatic efforts to end hostilities Violence.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki called on the Security Council to take action to end the Israeli attacks during an emergency meeting on Sunday. The Israeli ambassador to the United States, Gilad Erdan, called on the Council to condemn Hamas’ “indiscriminate and unprovoked attacks”.
The turmoil has fueled protests in the occupied West Bank and fueled violence within Israel between Jewish and Arab citizens with clashes and vigilante attacks on people and property.
The violence also sparked pro-Palestinian protests in cities across Europe and the United States.
Israel appears to have been on strike in the last few days to do as much damage to Hamas as possible while international mediators work to end the fighting and stave off an Israeli land invasion of Gaza.