Israeli warplanes unleashed a new series of heavy airstrikes at several locations in Gaza City early Monday, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would rage on.
According to AP report, Explosions rocked the city from north to south for 10 minutes in an attack that was heavier, on a wider area and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier in which 42 Palestinians were killed the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence between Israel and the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza.
The earlier Israeli airstrikes flattened three buildings.
The Israeli military said it attacked the homes of nine Hamas commanders across Gaza. There were no immediate reports of injuries, and in the predawn darkness there was little information on the extent of damage inflicted early Monday.
Local media reports said the main coastal road west of the city, security compounds and open spaces were hit in the latest raids. The power distribution company said airstrikes damaged a line feeding electricity from the only power plant to large parts of southern Gaza City.
In a televised address on Sunday, Netanyahu said Israel’s attacks were continuing at full-force and would take time. Israel wants to levy a heavy price on the Hamas militant group, he said, flanked by his defense minister and political rival, Benny Gantz, in a show of unity.
Hamas also pressed on, launching rockets from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel. One slammed into a synagogue in the southern city of Ashkelon hours before evening services for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Israeli emergency services said. No injuries were reported.
In the Israeli air assault early Sunday, families were buried under piles of cement rubble and twisted rebar. A yellow canary lay crushed on the ground. Shards of glass and debris covered streets blocks away from the major downtown thoroughfare where the three buildings were hit over the course of five minutes around 1 a.m.
The hostilities have repeatedly escalated over the past week, marking the worst fighting in the territory that is home to 2 million Palestinians since Israel and Hamas’ devastating 2014 war.