Israel strikes key Hamas targets, UN Security Council to meet

Israel’s military mentioned Sunday it had bombed the house of the political chief of Hamas within the Gaza Strip, because the UN Security Council was to meet amid international alarm in regards to the escalating battle.

The heaviest combating since 2014, sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, noticed each side once more commerce heavy fireplace and has now claimed 174 lives within the crowded coastal enclave of Gaza and killed 10 folks in Israel since Monday.

Israel mentioned Sunday morning its “continuing wave of strikes” had up to now 24 hours struck over 90 targets throughout Gaza, the place the destruction of a constructing housing information media organisations sparked worldwide outcry.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “dismayed” by civilian casualties in Gaza and “deeply disturbed” by Israel’s strike on Saturday on the tower housing the Associated Press and Al Jazeera bureaus, a spokesperson mentioned.

Israel’s military mentioned Sunday that about 2,900 rockets had been fired from the coastal strip managed by Hamas in the direction of Israel, “of which approximately 450 failed launches fell in the Gaza Strip”.  

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system had intercepted about 1,150 rockets in every week when Israeli residential buildings have been it and sirens have wailed throughout cities and main cities.

The bloodiest navy battle in seven years has additionally sparked a wave of inter-communal violence and mob assaults between Jews and Arab-Israelis, in addition to lethal clashes within the occupied West Bank.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) mentioned it had focused the infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, together with by pounding an enormous tunnel system with some 100 strikes, and by focusing on weapon factories and storage websites.

Israeli air strikes hit the house of Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas’ political wing within the Gaza Strip, the military mentioned, releasing a video exhibiting plumes of smoke and intense harm, however with out saying if he was killed.

“Among the targets struck are the residences of Yahya Sinwar, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau in Gaza, as well as of his brother, Muhammad Sinwar, Head of Logistics and Manpower for Hamas,” Israel’s military mentioned in a press release.

Media workplaces destroyed

The civilian dying toll has mounted in Gaza, the place no less than 47 youngsters have been killed, 1,200 folks wounded and full buildings and metropolis blocks diminished to rubble.

The IDF says it takes all attainable precautions to keep away from harming civilians and has blamed Hamas for intentionally putting navy targets in densely populated areas.

One strike on Gaza killed 10 members of an prolonged household.

The youngsters “didn’t carry weapons, they didn’t fire rockets”, mentioned Mohammad al-Hadidi, one of many grieving fathers.

Some 10,000 Gazans have fled their properties close to the Israeli border for concern of a floor offensive, the UN mentioned.

“They are sheltering in schools, mosques and other places during a global Covid-19 pandemic with limited access to water, food, hygiene and health services,” UN humanitarian official Lynn Hastings mentioned.

Balls of flame and a cloud of particles shot into the sky Saturday afternoon as Israel’s air pressure flattened the 13-floor Gaza constructing housing Qatar-based Al Jazeera and the Associated Press information company, after giving a warning to evacuate. 

Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Walid al-Omari, advised AFP: “It is clear that those who are waging this war do not only want to spread destruction and death in Gaza, but also to silence media that are witnessing, documenting and reporting the truth.” 

AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt mentioned he was “shocked and horrified” by the assault.

Jawad Mehdi, the proprietor of the Jala Tower, mentioned an Israeli intelligence officer had advised him he had simply an hour to evacuate the constructing.

Israeli defence officers mentioned the constructing housed not solely information bureaus however workplaces of Hamas militants.

AFP Chairman Fabrice Fries mentioned the company “stands in solidarity with all the media whose offices were destroyed in Gaza” and known as on all events “to respect the media’s freedom to report on events”.

‘Grave concern’

The UN Security Council was due to meet at 1400 GMT Sunday.

Israel ally Washington, which had blocked a UNSC assembly scheduled for Friday, has been criticised for not doing sufficient to stem the bloodshed.

US President Joe Biden once more underscored Israel’s proper to defend itself in a cellphone name with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden additionally expressed his “grave concern” over the violence in addition to for the security of journalists. 

Earlier Saturday, Biden additionally spoke to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas of their first name because the US president took workplace.

US Secretary for Israel-Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr was to maintain talks Sunday with Israeli leaders earlier than assembly Palestinian officers to search a “sustainable calm”, the State Department mentioned.

In a televised assertion late Saturday, Netanyahu thanked Biden for “unequivocal support”.

‘They’re placing our kids’

In Gaza, the grieving father Hadidi mentioned he had misplaced most of his household in a strike on a three-storey constructing within the Shati refugee camp that killed 10 kin — two moms and their 4 youngsters every. 

“They are striking our children — children — without prior warning,” mentioned the devastated father, whose five-month-old child was additionally wounded within the explosion. 

Palestinian militants responded with volleys of rockets into Israel, killing a person on the outskirts of business capital Tel Aviv, police and medics mentioned.

The escalating battle was sparked by unrest in Jerusalem that had simmered for weeks and led to clashes between riot police and Palestinians, fuelled by anger over deliberate Israeli expulsions of Palestinians within the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of east Jerusalem.

Major clashes broke out on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound — Islam’s third-holist website — on May 7 following a crackdown towards protests.

Mixed Jewish-Arab cities inside Israel have additionally seen mob violence, with greater than 750 folks arrested this week, police mentioned.

Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria, with which it stays technically at battle, had been additionally tense.

Three rockets had been launched from Syria Friday, whereas Israel’s military mentioned it fired “warning shots” in the direction of potential infiltrators from Lebanon, killing a Lebanese protester. 

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators have repeatedly staged protests the world over, together with in Paris, the place police used water cannon towards them.

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