Fighting will continue with full-force: Israeli PM

Gaza: Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people recently, medics said, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fighting between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza would continue despite international efforts to broker a ceasefire.

In a televised address, Netanyahu said the attacks were continuing at “full-force” and will “take time.“ Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” from Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, he said.

The violence marked the worst fighting here since the devastating 2014 war in Gaza. The airstrikes hit a busy downtown street of residential buildings and storefronts over the course of five minutes just after midnight, destroying two adjacent buildings and one about 50 yards (meters) down the road.

In its airstrikes, Israel has leveled a number of Gaza City’s tallest office and residential buildings, alleging they contain Hamas military infrastructure. Among them were the building housing The Associated Press office and those of other media outlets.

At least 188 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including 55 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people wounded. Eight people in Israel have been killed, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.

Hamas’ upper echelon has gone into hiding in Gaza, and it is unlikely any were at home at the time of the strikes.

Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militant group have acknowledged 20 fighters killed since the fighting broke out. Israel says the real number is far higher and has released the names and photos of two dozen alleged operatives it says were “eliminated.”

An Egyptian diplomat said Israel’s targeting of Hamas political leaders would complicate cease-fire efforts.

Hamas and other militant groups have fired some 2,900 rockets into Israel. The military said 450 of the rockets had fallen short or misfired, while Israeli air defenses intercepted 1,150.

Image courtesy of (wng.org)

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