Israel continues air strikes, kill 42 more Palestinians


Destroys Hamas Gaza chief’s home


Israeli airstrikes killed 42 Palestinians, including 13 children, in Gaza early on Sunday, Gaza health officials said, and Palestinian fighters fired rockets into Israel as hostilities stretched into a seventh day.

The pre-dawn attacks were on houses in the centre of Gaza City, health officials said. A spokesman for the Israeli military said he would look into these reports.

The death toll in Gaza jumped to 188, including 52 children, since the fighting erupted last Monday.

In Israel, 10 people including two children have been killed in rocket attacks by Hamas and other groups.

The Israel military said the al-Jala building was a legitimate military target, containing Hamas military offices, and that it had given advance warnings to civilians to get out of the building.

Meanwhile, Israel bombed the home of Hamas’s chief in Gaza early on Sunday. Sirens warning of rocket attacks sounded in Israeli border towns shortly after dawn.

Israel said Sunday morning its “continuing wave of strikes” had in the past 24 hours struck over 90 targets across Gaza, where the destruction of a building housing news media organisations sparked an international outcry.

In Gaza, emergency teams worked to pull out bodies from vast piles of smoking rubble and toppled buildings, as relatives wailed in horror and grief.

Israel’s army said Sunday that about 3,000 rockets had been fired from the coastal strip controlled by Hamas towards Israel, “of which approximately 450 failed launches fell in the Gaza Strip”.

The Israel Defense Forces said it had targeted the infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, including by pounding a vast tunnel system with some 100 strikes, and by targeting weapon factories and storage sites.

Israeli air strikes also hit the home of Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas’ political wing in the Gaza Strip, the army said, releasing a video showing plumes of smoke and intense damage, but without saying if he was killed.

At least 52 children have lost their lives in Gaza, 1,225 people have been wounded and entire buildings and city blocks reduced to rubble.

One strike on Gaza killed 10 members of an extended family. The children “didn’t carry weapons, they didn’t fire rockets”, said Mohammad al-Hadidi, one of the grieving fathers.

“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 said.—AFP/Reuters

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