Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the military campaign against Gaza’s Hamas rulers will continue “with “full force and warned it will “take time” to end despite international efforts to obtain a ceasefire.
At least 42 Palestinians were been killed in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, according to medics, making it the deadliest attack so far in recent fighting.
Eight children and 12 women counted among the dead in Sunday’s strikes on a main thoroughfare in Gaza City, while around 50 people were left injured.
Also on Sunday, Israeli military said around 2,900 rockets had been fired into Israel from Gaza over the past week, with an airforce general telling Bel Trew, our middle east correspondent, it was one of the “most intense” barrages ever.
Meanwhile, efforts to obtain a ceasefire have been stepped up with the arrival of a US diplomat in the region and talks at the UN Security Council.
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the conflict between Israel and Gaza today.
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 10:29
Israeli military says it has destroyed home of senior Hamas leader
The Isreali military says it has destroyed the home of Gaza’s top Hamas leader in the third such attack in as many days, after nearly a week of heavy air strikes on the Palestinian territory.
Military officials said the homes of Yahya Sinwar, the most senior Hamas leader inside the territory, and his brother Muhammad, another senior Hamas member, had been struck, while the home of senior political figure Khalil al-Hayeh was destroyed on Saturday.
Brigadier general Hidai Zilberman confirmed the strike on Mr Sinwar’s house in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis to army radio.
He said the home of his brother, who is in charge of Hamas “logistics and personnel”, was also destroyed.
However, Hamas’ most senior officials have gone into hiding in Gaza so it is unlikely any were at home at the time of the strikes.
The militant group has acknowledged that 20 fighters have been killed since heavy fighting broke out last Monday, although Israel claims the real number is far higher.
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 10:42
Gaza death toll rises to 181, officials say
The death toll in Gaza has risen to 181 fatalities, with 52 children among those killed, according to the territory’s health ministry.
The ministry added that the deaths were mostly the result of Israeli airstrikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 10:56
Israeli airstrikes kill at least 26 people and injure 50, medics say
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City have flattened three buildings and killed at least 26 people, according to medics, in the deadliest single attack since heavy fighting broke out in the region nearly a week ago.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 10 women and eight children were among those killed, with another 50 people injured in the attack.
It added that rescuers were racing to pull survivors and bodies from the rubble.
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 11:06
Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s ‘flagrant violations’ of Palestinian rights
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has condemned Israel’s “flagrant violations” of Palestinian rights and called on the international community to act urgently to put an end to military operations in the region.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud made his comments in televised remarks at the start of an emergency virtual meeting of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The minister condemned what he called the violation of the sanctity of Islamic holy sites and “forcible” eviction of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.
He added that the international community needed to carry out its responsibility towards ending the “dangerous escalation” and revive peace negotiations based on a two-state solution.
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 11:25
Two people armed with knives arrested after crossing Jordan border, Israeli police say
Two people armed with knives have been arrested after they claimed to have crossed into Israel from Jordan, police have said.
An Israeli police spokesperson said the two suspects had crossed the border overnight and were being questioned by security services.
Jordanian officials were not immediately available for comment for Reuters.
Earlier this week, pro-Palestinian protesters briefly entered Israel from Lebanon after storming border fences, while hundreds from Jordan attempted to enter the country along the eastern frontier.
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 11:39
Gaza clinic for trauma and burn victims damaged by Israeli airstrikes
Médecins Sans Frontières has said one of its clinics for trauma and burn treatment in Gaza has been damaged by Israeli airstrikes.
“No one was injured in our clinic, but people were killed by the bombing,” the organisation said on Twitter.
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 11:54
Agence France-Presse has decided to welcome the media teams from Associated Press and Al-Jazeera to work in its offices after their premises were destroyed by an Israeli airstrike yesterday.
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 12:08
Pope Francis denounces ‘unacceptable’ spiral of violence in Israel
Pope Francis has denounced the “unacceptable” spiral of violence between Israel and Gaza, warning that the deaths of children were a “sign that they don’t want to build the future but want to destroy it.”
During his Sunday blessing, Francis prayed for peace, calm and international help to open a path of dialogue in the region.
“I ask myself: this hatred and vendetta, what will it bring? Do we truly think that we can build peace by destroying the other?” the pope said.
He added: “In the name of God, who created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity and are called to live as brothers, I appeal for calm.”
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 12:18
Amnesty International calls for investigation into possible Israel ‘war crimes’
Amnesty International is calling upon the International Criminal Court to investigate an Israeli strike on a building housing media organisations and another where 10 people including eight children were killed, warning such attacks could be war crimes.
The human rights group said on Sunday that they were “deeply concerned over the mounting death toll” in Gaza since Monday.
It tweeted that the International Criminal Court must investigate Israel’s attack on al-Shati refugee camp, arguing that “direct attacks on civilians are war crimes.”
The group also said the attack on the media building “must also be investigated as a war crime”, adding that “the strike fits a pattern of Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian population.”
Conrad Duncan16 May 2021 12:35