May 17th (UPI) – Israel continued its flurry of air strikes in Gaza overnight and on Monday, when fighting with Hamas entered its second week, despite repeated calls for a ceasefire from the international community.
The Israeli military said Fighter jets “neutralized” overnight 9.3 miles of the so-called tunnel system of the Hamas Metro, which it has been targeting for days.
Fifty-four jets hit about 35 targets and the tunnel system with 110 ammunition as part of “Israel Defense Forces’ significant operation against underground terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip,” the report said, adding that it was its third round. attacks against the tunnel systems in northern Gaza, an autonomous Palestinian territory.
Nine residences that the military said were used as Hamas infrastructure and housed high-ranking officers, including several battalion commanders from the cities of Beit Hanoun and Sabra, were also targeted.
Meanwhile, Hamas, which the US State Department has designated as a foreign terrorist organization, continues to fire rockets at Israel. The IDF said Hamas launched 60 rockets overnight, with about 10 of them falling back into Gaza and dozens more intercepted by Israeli air defense fighters.
Sheikh Jarrah, a spokesman for the Hamas armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said The Times of Israel his recent rocket dam was in response to Israeli air strikes on Sunday that killed 42 people, including 10 children and 16 women, making this the deadliest day of conflict since the conflict resumed on May 10.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said starting at 6 pm On Sunday, at least 192 Palestinians were killed, including 58 children and another 1,235 injured in the fighting, with the expectation that the death toll will increase.
On Sunday night, the ministry said it was still trying to remove people and bodies from the rubble of the previous attack.
The Israeli Defense Forces say it does not target civilians and has repeatedly accused Hamas of placing military targets on residential buildings and civilian areas to use Palestinians as human shields. Israel also attributes the death toll to wandering Hamas rockets that failed to cross the border.
In Israel, at least 10 people died, including two children.
Israel says Hamas has fired about 3,150 rockets since the start of its barrage on May 10 in response to Israel not having withdrawn security forces from a Jerusalem mosque that had been invaded amid growing tensions between the two sides, while Israel seeks to expel Palestinian families Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
In response to Hamas rockets, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls, hitting more than 1,500 targets in Gaza.
On Sunday, President Joe Biden spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the White House readings of the calls.
For Abbas, Biden emphasized the need for Hamas to stop rocket fire while expressing concern over the death of innocent civilians. For Netanyahu, he reiterated the United States’ support for Israel’s right to self-defense.
To the two leaders, Biden “expressed his support for measures to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy the dignity, security, freedom and economic opportunity they deserve”, in addition to affirming his support for a two-state solution.
Meanwhile, 29 Democrats have issued a statement On Sunday, he called for an immediate ceasefire “to prevent further loss of civilian life and to prevent a further escalation of the conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories”.
Calls for a ceasefire came as foreign ministers on Sunday failed to produce a UN Security Council statement on the conflict with China, accusing the United States of preventing one from being finalized.
“The Security Council has the primary responsibility to safeguard international peace and security,” said Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, in a statement. “Unfortunately, simply because of the obstruction of a country, the Security Council was unable to speak with one voice.”
Inside a separate statement delivered by Norway’s permanent representative to the United Nations Mona Juul, the nations of Norway, Tunisia and China demanded an immediate cessation of all fighting.
“We call on both sides to work to urgently reduce tensions and end violence,” they said.
On Sunday, Netanyahu told the public in a press conference with military leaders who took a “heavy” toll on Hamas, destroying tunnels in days that its armed forces took a decade and vast capital to produce.
Regarding international pressure, he said Israel received “very serious support” from countries like the United States.
He said the goal is to stop the violence and then rehabilitate relations between Jews and Arabs so that they can coexist, cooperate and be partners in the “great success called the State of Israel”.
However, Netanyahu signaled that there was no end in sight for the ongoing fighting.
“We continue to act, even at this hour, for as long as necessary to restore peace and security to you, the citizens of Israel,” he said. “It will still take time.”