The Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip has entered its seventh consecutive day, with air raids in the early hours of Sunday killing at least four Palestinians, injuring dozens more and razing at least two residential buildings.
The home of Hamas leader Yehya al-Sinwar in Gaza was also targeted, according to the group’s television.
In Tel Aviv, Israel, people rushed to bomb shelters as sirens warning of incoming rocket fire sounded through the city and the IDF launched its “Iron Dome” air defense system to intercept Hamas rockets.
The escalation comes hours after Israeli missiles hit a refugee camp, murder at least 10 Palestinians, including eight children – and knocked down a high-rise building housing the offices of media organizations, including Al Jazeera.
In a televised speech on Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to continue the offensive on Gaza “as long as necessary”, while Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said “the resistance will not give in”.
At least 149 Palestinians, including 41 children, were killed in the Gaza Strip last week. Some 950 others were injured.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces killed at least 13 Palestinians.
At least 10 people in Israel were also killed, and two new deaths were reported on Saturday. The IDF said hundreds of rockets were fired from Gaza at various locations in Israel and added reinforcements near the enclave.
The United Nations Security Council is due to meet later Sunday to discuss the worst outbreak of violence in years in Palestine and Israel.
Here are the latest updates:
Gaza rescuers race to find survivors
Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, reporting from Gaza, said rescue teams were rushing to dig up survivors under the rubble of residential buildings flattened in the Israeli raids.
“Rescue teams have found five children alive,” he said. “They say they have heard that some people are still alive under the rubble and that they are still working to extract more survivors.”
He said Israeli shelling destroyed homes and roads in the El Wahda neighborhood.
Palestinian citizens are helping rescue teams search for survivors under the rubble of homes bombed by “Israel” this evening. So far, reports confirm this: 5 survived, 2 killed, 25 injured. There are many others still buried.#Gaza #GazaUnderAttack pic.twitter.com/olJuj3HLrJ
– Quds News Network (@QudsNen) May 16, 2021
US Muslim Groups Call for Boycott of White House Eid Dinner
American Muslims for Palestine, a US-based advocacy group, urged the Muslim community to boycott President Joe Biden’s Eid celebration on Sunday because of its stance on Palestine.
The group also announced a counter-event, called “Eid with Palestine”.
“Recent statements by President Biden, White House spokesman Jen Psaki and State Department spokesman Ned Price completely ignore the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the Israeli attack against Al-Aqsa against the faithful during Ramadan and the ongoing siege. of Gaza which has already claimed the lives of hundreds of people, ”the advocacy group said.
“In solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Palestine, the United States and around the world, a nationwide coalition of Muslims is urging our Muslim community to boycott the White House event and join in Eid with Palestine: A manifestation of the White House Eid event. “
Earlier, the Council on US-Islamic Relations also said it would boycott the Eid celebration at the White House.
Israel targets Hamas leader’s house in Gaza
Israel hit the home of a top Hamas leader in a flurry of airstrikes, the group’s television station said.
Yehya al-Sinwar has led Hamas’ political and military wings in Gaza since 2017.
Israel launches ‘most intense airstrikes’ to date in Gaza
Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, reporting live from Gaza, said Israeli planes carried out 150 airstrikes across the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Sunday, including at least 60 in Gaza City alone.
“The last two hours, the IDF carried out the most intensive airstrikes in the entire Gaza Strip in the last seven days of escalation,” al-Kahlout said, adding that several people were killed in the area. raid.
Rescuers are digging through rubble in hopes of finding survivors, he said.
Gaza’s health ministry said many Palestinians arrived in hospitals with injuries.
Israeli army shoots Palestinian youth to death in West Bank
Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian youth north of Tulkarm in the West Bank just after midnight on Sunday, the Palestinian WAFA news agency reported, citing the health ministry.
At least nine people were injured after soldiers opened live fire and were taken to hospital, WAFA said.
Huge crowds gather across the United States to support Palestine
John Hendren of Al Jazeera, of Washington, DC, said there was an “unusually large show of support” for the Palestinian cause in the United States on Saturday.
“There have been protests in New York, Chicago, Colorado and Washington, DC. It was what we thought was an unusually large pro-Palestinian crowd of several thousand people, ”he said.
“They wanted the US government to put more pressure on Israel, to end this conflict. There was a real sense of dissatisfaction that the policies of the Biden administration really did not differ significantly from the policies of the Trump administration or any other American administration in recent years.
‘Heavy bombardment’ near UN office in Gaza
Matthias Schmale, the Gaza director of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), reported “heavy shelling” near the agency’s compound in the early hours of Sunday.
– Matthias Schmale (@matzschmale) May 15, 2021
For developments on Saturday May 15, go to here.