Rescuers carry a girl as they search for victims amid rubble at the site of Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on Sunday. Reuters
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 more people on Sunday, medics said, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signalled the fighting between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza would continue despite international efforts to broker a ceasefire.
In a televised address, Netanyahu said on Sunday evening the attacks were continuing at "full-force” and will "take time." The violence marked the worst fighting here since the devastating 2014 war in Gaza.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council met amid global alarm at the escalating conflict in Gaza. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pleaded for an immediate end to the deadly violence, warning that the fighting could plunge the region into an "uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis.”
"Fighting must stop. It must stop immediately," Guterres said as he opened a Security Council session delayed by Israel's ally the United States, calling the violence over the past week "utterly appalling.”
A Palestinian man carries a dead child taken out of the rubble of a destroyed building in Gaza. AP
A rescuer could be seen shouting into a hole in the rubble. "Can you hear me?” he called out. "Are you OK?” Minutes later, first responders managed to pull a survivor out and carried him off on an orange stretcher.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 12 women and eight children were among those killed, with another 50 people wounded in the attack, and says rescue efforts are still underway.
Palestinians mourn during the funeral of of Wajdi Al Jaafre in West Bank. AFP
Earlier, the Israeli military said it destroyed the home of Gaza’s top Hamas leader, Yahiyeh Sinwar, in a separate strike in the southern town of Khan Younis. It was the third such attack in the last two days on the homes of senior Hamas leaders.
The latest outbreak of violence began in east Jerusalem last month, when Palestinian protests and clashes with police broke out in response to Israeli police tactics during Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. A focal point of clashes was the Al Aqsa Mosque.
A Palestinian mother sits with her daughter, who was wounded in overnight Israeli air strikes, in Gaza. AFP
At least 188 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including 55 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people wounded.
An Egyptian diplomat said Israel’s targeting of Hamas political leaders would complicate ceasefire efforts. The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door negotiations, said Cairo is working to broker an end to the fighting, as are other international actors.
A Palestinian boy mourns over the body of a member of the Kawlak family. AFP
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has affirmed its support for Israel while working to de-escalate the crisis. US diplomat Hady Amr met Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who thanked the US for its support.
Israel has meanwhile carried out hundreds of airstrikes across impoverished Gaza, which is home to more than 2 million Palestinians and has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since 2007.
Palestinians inspect their house, after it was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike. AFP
On Saturday, Israel bombed the 13-storey Al Jala Building, where the office of The Associated Press was located. The building also housed the TV network Al Jazeera and other media outlets, along with several floors of apartments.
Explosives tied to balloons and kites first emerged as a weapon in Gaza during intense protests in 2018, when the makeshift devices drifted across the border daily, causing thousands of fires in Israeli farms and communities.
An early-morning military statement said there had been airborne explosive and incendiary attacks into southern Israel on Saturday. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Supporters of Muna and Mohammed Al Kurd, who are twins, say their detention is part of a broader Israeli effort to halt opposition to the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, where Jewish settlers want to move into the Al Kurds' home and others under an Israeli court ruling.
A ceasefire in Gaza usually means calm across Israel. Not this time. Near Ramallah, Palestinians enraged over the occupation of the West Bank face off against Israeli forces firing tear gas and rubber bullets. In Lod, Jaffa and other mixed Israeli cities, Palestinian residents
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The Health Ministry stressed in a statement that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.