Jerusalem: As fresh tensions between Israel and Palestine entered into the seventh day with no sign of respite, the former country bombed the home of Hamas’s chief in Gaza early on Sunday while the Islamist group fired rocket barrages at Tel Aviv.
Health officials said that at least four Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes across the coastal enclave and several people were injured during the heavy bombardment at night.
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Meanwhile, Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children so far. Health officials said that at least 149 have been killed in Gaza since the clash began on Monday, including 41 children, Reuters reported.
The United States, United Nations and Egypt are working towards restoring calm by holding talks through their envoys but no signs of progress have been seen so far. The U.N. Security Council was slated to meet later on Sunday to discuss the deteriorating conditions amid Israeli-Palestinian violence.
In a significant development, Israel destroyed a 12-storey building in Gaza City where media houses such as the U.S. Associated Press and Qatar-based Al Jazeera operated. A day later both Israel and Hamas made clear that they would continue their cross-border firing.
Defending the attack on the al-Jala building, the Israel military contended that it was a legitimate military target that contained Hamas military offices, and civilians were given warnings to vacate the premises before the attack.
News Agency AP has condemned the attack, demanding Israel to present evidence. “We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building,” the news organisation wrote in a statement.
In what was termed as retribution for the destruction of the al-Jala building, Hamas fired rockets at Tel Aviv and towns in southern Israel early on Sunday. About 10 people were injured while running for bomb shelters, medics said.
Late on Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was “still in the midst of this operation, it is still not over and this operation will continue as long as necessary”, as quoted by Reuters.
Later in the burst of airstrikes early on Sunday, Israel was reported to have targeted the home of Yehya Al-Sinwar, who has headed the political and military wings of Hamas in Gaza since 2017.
A Gaza neurologist was informed to have been killed in the airstrike which wounded his wife and daughter.
The renewed violent clashes began as Hamas launched its rocket assault on Monday after weeks of tensions over a court case to evict several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem along, and also in retaliation for the incident of the Israeli police clashing with Palestinians near the city’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.