Israeli warplanes launched a series of new heavy airstrikes in various locations in Gaza City early this morning.
The explosions rocked the besieged Palestinian enclave from north to south for 10 minutes in an attack that was reportedly heavier and extended over a larger area.
Dozens of missiles hit various parts of the densely populated coastal area, AFP journalists said. There were no immediate reports of victims.
The previous Sunday, Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip had overturned three buildings and killed at least 42 civilians.
This was the deadliest single strike since the beginning of the Israeli target group against the Palestinian enclave.
Sunday’s attacks resulted in at least 197 deaths in Gaza, including dozens of women and children, with 1,230 wounded. Israel has reported 10 deaths, including two children.
A rescuer could be seen screaming through a hole in the rubble. “Can you hear?” Scream. “Are you all right?” Minutes later, rescuers managed to remove a survivor and take him away on an orange stretcher.
The Gaza Strip Health Ministry said 16 women and 10 children were among the dead, an additional 50 people were injured in the attack, and rescue efforts are still ongoing.
When rescue teams tried to pull the bodies out of the rubble, Israeli warplanes fired missiles near their locations. Rescuers said they would be attacked during their operations.
The pre-dawn attacks targeted homes in central Gaza City, Palestinian health officials said. An Israeli army spokesman said he would look into these reports.
Palestinians working to remove rubble from a building destroyed in the airstrikes have recovered the bodies of a woman and a man.
“These are moments of horror that no one can describe. As if an earthquake hit the area,” said Mahmoud Hmaid, a father of seven who helped with rescue efforts.
“We were sleeping and suddenly missiles fell on us,” said Lamia Al Koulak, 43, who lost her brothers and children in the dawn bombing.
“The children were screaming. We were bombed for half an hour without warning. We went out and found the building next door crushed. All the people under the rubble were simple people.”
The situation is not getting any easier for the people of Gaza as Israel continues its brutal violence against civilians, said journalist Nizar Sadawi from the blocked Palestinian territory.
Netanyahu defends the destruction of the media building
Later on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the end of seven days of violence was not imminent, despite diplomatic steps to restore calm.
“Our campaign against terrorist organizations is fully ongoing,” Netanyahu said in a televised address.
“We are now acting as long as necessary to restore peace and quiet to you, the citizens of Israel. It will take time.”
He also defended targeting a high-rise building in Gaza housing the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, calling it “a perfectly legitimate target”.
Israeli missiles strike the Mushtaha building in Gaza City, which is home to 60 Palestinian families. pic.twitter.com/WJJC49Haqt
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) May 15, 2021