Israel bombed what it described as militant targets in Gaza, which toppled a six-story building, while militants fired dozens of rockets at Israel on Tuesday.
Palestinians across the region went on a general strike amid a war that entered its second week with no signs of abating.
The attacks brought down a building that contained libraries and educational centers of the Islamic University.
Seen from a roof, the scene was of a huge valley of iron and concrete slabs. Desks, offices, books, and computer cables peeked out from the rubble. Residents searched the wreckage for their belongings.
THE ATTACKS TOOK DOWN A BUILDING WITH ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
There was no data on victims of the night attacks at first.
Intense fighting began on May 10 when Hamas, which rules Gaza, launched long-range missiles into Jerusalem in support of Palestinian protests in the city against aggressive Israeli police tactics at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, a source of tension in a place revered by Jews and Muslims, as well as the threat of eviction on dozens of Palestinian families at the behest of Jewish settlers.
The attacks do not stop.
Palestinians in Israel, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank held a general strike on Tuesday in protest at what many activists and human rights groups see as an apartheid system of which the war in Gaza is just another side.
Israel strongly rejects these claims and accuses Hamas of inciting violence throughout the region.
The strike was called by leaders of the Palestinian population in Israel, which makes up 20% of the country’s population, and adopted by the Palestinian Authority, an internationally-backed institution, in the occupied West Bank, where they closed schools and ministries.
Most businesses appeared to have joined the strike, and protests were expected.
Israel last week recorded an outbreak of ethnic violence in which groups of Jewish and Palestinian citizens fought in the streets and burned vehicles and buildings.
In the West Bank, Palestinian protesters have clashed with Israeli troops and the Border Police, a paramilitary body.
Palestinian insurgents have fired some 1,800 projectiles and Israel launched more than 600 airstrikes that brought down at least three apartment blocks.
The Israeli army said Tuesday that it had used more than 100 ammunition against 65 militia targets such as rocket launchers, a group of fighters and the homes of Hamas commanders, which the army said were used for military purposes.
More than 60 fighter jets participated in the operation.
Palestinian militants fired 90 rockets, 20 of which fell short and landed in Gaza, according to the Israeli army.
Israeli forces have targeted some areas with gunfire from tanks stationed near the Gaza border. The armed conflict has been going on for five days and more than 100 dead.
Israeli missile defenses have an interception rate of 90%, he added.
The army also claimed to have shot down a drone “approaching the Israeli border” in the northeast, away from the fighting in Gaza.
He did not specify where the drone came from, and the Army could not be contacted at first for comment. It is possible that the drone had taken off from Syria.
The offensive is intensified in the face of a possible invasion.
At least 212 Palestinians have been killed in the heavy bombardments, including 61 children and 36 women, with more than 1,400 injured, according to the Gaza Strip Ministry of Health.
Ten people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier, have been killed by rocket attacks launched from civilian areas in Gaza and into civilian areas in Israel.
Israel claimed to have inflicted heavy damage on Hamas’ military infrastructure, including the vast network of tunnels dubbed the “subway” by Israeli authorities.
Israel and Hamas are on the brink of a full-scale war.
The attacks have toppled several buildings and caused widespread damage in the narrow coastal territory, home to more than 2 million Palestinians and which has been under a blockade by Egypt and Israel since Hamas seized control of Gaza from rival Palestinian forces.
The Israeli attacks have damaged at least 18 hospitals and clinics and completely destroyed a medical center, according to a new report from the World Health Organization. Almost half of the essential drugs in the territory have run out.
The shelling of major roads, such as those leading to the main Shifa Hospital, has complicated the movements of ambulances and supply vehicles.
The memories today are the three wars of 2008, 2012 and 2014, the latter the bloodiest, with more than 2,200 Palestinian fatalities and 73 Israelis.
Some 41,000 displaced Palestinians have sought shelter in United Nations schools in Gaza, which was already suffering from a coronavirus outbreak.
Israel has vowed to go ahead with its operations, and the United States indicated it would not pressure both sides for a ceasefire, although President Joe Biden said he was a supporter of one.
“We will continue to operate as long as necessary to restore calm and security to all Israeli citizens,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, after meeting with security officials.
Protests were expected across the region on Tuesday as part of the general strike, which was supported by the Fata party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
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.