Israel-Gaza flare-up enters 10th day
Jerusalem, May 19 (EFE).- Israel’s military on Wednesday said it had targeted militant commanders and a tunnel network in the Gaza Strip, while militants in the Hamas-ruled enclave launched dozens of rockets toward Israel.
At least 219 Palestinians, including 63 children and 36 women, have been killed by Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip and more than 1,500 have been injured in the latest outbreak of violence, the territory’s health ministry said. Rockets fired by militants in Gaza have killed 12 people and injured 312 in Israel, according to emergency services.
The conflict between Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement — the de facto ruler of Gaza — on Wednesday entered its 10th day despite international efforts to de-escalate the situation.
Rockets were fired sporadically from the coastal enclave early Wednesday, causing no damage in Israeli territory.
The sirens of the Israeli missile defense system rang out five times overnight with missiles landing in areas near Gaza and far from major cities.
A total of 3,750 rockets have been fired from Gaza since the beginning of the fighting, according to Israel. Some 550 of them went down over Gaza without reaching Israeli territory while around 90 percent were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.
A military spokesman Wednesday said Israel shelled the tunnel network in the strip overnight, which, according to the army, belongs to Hamas and used by militants to transport weapons. The spokesman said the military bombed around 40 underground targets in the southern part of Gaza in just 25 minutes.
The Israeli Defense Forces also said they bombed a rocket launch site, and the home of a Hamas senior commander, among other targets.
According to local media, a ceasefire agreement could take effect on Thursday; however, neither Hamas nor the Israeli authorities have commented on the matter.
US President Joe Biden expressed his support for a ceasefire in the ongoing armed conflict during a telephone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.