Israel launched a series of heavy airstrikes early Monday at several locations of Gaza City as the regional conflict moved into its second week.
Explosions rocked the city for 10 minutes in an attack that was heavier, reached a wider area, and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier.
The attacks occurred after U.N. Security Council diplomats and Muslim foreign ministers convened Sunday to demand a stop to civilian bloodshed. President Joe Biden has yet to step up public pressure on Israel to reach a ceasefire agreement despite some Democrats calling for the Biden administration to get more involved.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., urged Biden on Sunday to step up pressure on both sides.
- Israel regards Jerusalem in its entirety as its capital, while the Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state.
- The hostilities have repeatedly escalated over the past week, marking the worst fighting in the territory since Israel and Hamas’ devastating 2014 war.
“I think the administration needs to push harder on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to stop the violence, bring about a cease-fire, end these hostilities, and get back to a process of trying to resolve this long-standing conflict,” Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
The air raids on Sunday killed at least 42 Palestinians, medics said, bringing the toll since Hamas and Israel opened their air and artillery battles to at least 188 killed in Gaza and eight in Israel. Some 55 children in Gaza and a 5-year-old boy in Israel were among the dead. It was described as the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence between Israel and the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza.
Hamas also launched rockets from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel. At least one of the rockets slammed into a synagogue in the southern city of Ashkelon just hours before evening services for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Israeli emergency services said. No injuries were reported.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.