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Israel launches new strikes on Gaza as calls for ceasefire grow

Israel launches new strikes on Gaza as calls for ceasefire grow
17.05.2021
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Israel has continued to conduct dozens of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip today (May 17), the pre-dawn raids on Gaza were some of the heaviest seen since the fighting began a week ago.

Israel said it hit facilities belonging to the militant group Hamas and several commanders’ homes, but main roads and power lines were also damaged.

There were no immediate reports of casualties following the strikes.

However, in the past week, the majority of the fatalities so far have been reported in Gaza.

A total of 192 Palestinians have been killed, including 58 children and 34 women, according to the Gaza health ministry.

In Israel, eight people have been killed including a five-year-old boy and a soldier.

Thousands are thought to be injured and displaced.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signalled there will not yet be an end to the violence, telling his nation the attacks were continuing at “full force” and would “take time”.

He said his country “wants to level a heavy price” on the Hamas militant group, which has also been launching rockets towards civilian areas in Israel.

The Israeli military said more than 50 warplanes conducted a 20-minute attack on the Gaza Strip shortly before dawn on Monday.

They struck 35 “terror targets” and destroyed more than 15km (9.3 miles) of an underground tunnel network belonging to Hamas, it added.

The military also said it had hit the homes of nine “high-ranking” Hamas commanders. Israeli soldiers also fired artillery from positions near the Gaza border.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday, and Secretary-General António Guterres warned that further fighting had “the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis”.

He pleaded for an immediate end to the “utterly appalling” violence.

 

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