The army of Israel bombed on Sunday the house of the political chief of Hamas on the Gaza Strip, in a new escalation in its attacks against the Palestinian Islamist movement, hours before a meeting of the UN Security Council.
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The fate of this senior leader is unknown at the moment –Yahya Sinwar– from the movement that controls the Palestinian enclave, a poor territory of two million inhabitants subjected to the Israeli blockade for more than ten years.
Since the early hours of Sunday, 17 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli bombings in the enclave, according to local authorities. Since the start of this new cycle of violence on May 10, 174 Palestinians have died, including 47 children, and 1,200 were injured, according to the latest Palestinian balance.
In Israel, 10 people have been killed, including a child, and 282 injured, by Palestinian rocket fire.
The Israeli army “attacked the home of Yahya Sinwar and that of his brother, Mohamad Sinwar, Hamas logistics chief,” according to a military message on Twitter, where he posted a video showing serious damage under a cloud of dust.
Palestinian security sources confirmed the attack on the home of Sinwar, who was re-elected in March as head of the Hamas political bureau in Gaza.
The attack came a day after the bombings in Gaza that killed children and pulverized a building with international media offices. There were also new rocket launches towards Israel.
Although the parties to the conflict have so far turned a deaf ear to international calls for a cessation of hostilities, diplomatic talks are intensifying with a virtual meeting of the Security Council scheduled for 2:00 p.m. GMT.
For his part, senior US State Department official Hady Amr is scheduled to meet this Sunday with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem and with Palestinian officials in the occupied West Bank.
The foreign ministers of the European Union will carry out an emergency videoconference on Tuesday, after “the unacceptable number of civilian victims”, in the words of Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy on Twitter. And the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, asked this Sunday for the cessation of violence, in this “highly explosive” situation.
Building reduced to rubble
On Saturday, ten Palestinians, including eight minor family members, lost their lives in an Israeli bombardment of the Al Shati refugee camp in Gaza.
A 50-year-old Israeli, at the wheel of his vehicle, was killed on the outskirts of Tel Aviv by rocket fire from Hamas, which wanted to “avenge” the bombing “of women and children” in Gaza.
Shortly after, a 13-story building that housed, among others, the equipment of the Qatari television network Al Jazeera and the US press agency Associated Press (Globe Live Media) was reduced to rubble in a bombing by the Israeli army that had called for the evacuation of the building. .
According to the army, the building housed Hamas “military intelligence entities” accused of using civilians as “human shields”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke by phone with US President Joe Biden, said on television that he has his “unequivocal” support.
Biden, who also spoke by phone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abas, supported Israel’s right “to defend itself” against Hamas attacks while expressing concern for the “safety of journalists.”
The management of the Globe Live Media agency said it was “shocked and horrified” by the Israeli bombing.
The Agence France Presse (AFP) expressed its “solidarity” with “colleagues from the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.”
Violence in the West Bank
In these last hours, 120 rockets were launched from Gaza towards Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv, and dozens of them were intercepted by the anti-missile system, according to the army, which, for its part, attacked 90 positions of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza in the last 24 hours.
Since Monday, Israeli emergency services claim to have treated 636 people, including those who suffered panic attacks.
The new conflict erupted after the launch from Gaza of a rocket barrage against Israel in “solidarity” with the hundreds of Palestinians wounded in the riots with the Israeli police on the Esplanade of the Mosques, in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian sector occupied by Israel since 1967.
The riots on the esplanade, Islam’s third holy place, were the culmination of strong tensions and clashes in East Jerusalem, mainly due to the threat of expulsion of Palestinian families in favor of Jewish settlers in a neighborhood of the Holy City.
The hostilities spread to the West Bank, a Palestinian territory also occupied by Israel since 1967, where clashes with the Israeli army since May 10 have caused 19 Palestinian deaths.
On its territory, Israel also faces unprecedented violence and lynching threats in its “mixed” cities, where Jews and Palestinians with Israeli citizenship live.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.