Israel continues a heavy airstrike in the Gaza Strip hours after U.S. president Joe Biden publicly backed the international call for a ceasefire between the Jewish state and Hamas, the militant group. in Palestinian.
Sixty Israeli warplanes carried out twelve air strikes in what the military described as a network of tunnels, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the armed forces to “continue to attack” .
Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, retaliated with a volley of rockets on Israeli towns six hours later night slept. Witnesses said two buildings were targeted early Tuesday in Gaza City, the densely populated urban center in the blocked territory, as the fighting reached its second week.
Israeli strikes killed 212 Palestinians, including 61 children and 36 women on Monday, according to the Gaza health ministry.
Israeli army officials said 130 of the dead were Hamas fighters and disputed in Gazan estimating more than half of those killed were women and children. Israel reported 10 deaths from the Hamas attack, including two children.
Biden speaks with Netanyahu as the US president faces rising criticism from the Americans progressives, including within his own Democratic party, which wants the administration to put more pressure to stop the fights.
“The president expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed the U.S. engagement with Egypt and other partners in order to end it,” the White House reading of the call agreed. “Biden also encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians”.
The US blocked a statement by the UN Security Council calling for de-escalation, cessation of violence and respect for international law, agreed by two UN diplomats. The decision is the third time Washington has blocked a statement or slow steps since the violence began.
The UN, Egypt and Qatar have failed to broker a brief ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territories, which have been controlled by Hamas since 2007.
Aviv Kochavi, the Israeli army chief, warned residents of communities linking the territory that fighting would continue until the country believes it needs it.
“Hamas is surprised by our strength, tactics and achievements,” he said, referring to a military strategy, in which Israel conducts more air strikes at a faster pace than previous conflicts. Palestinian militants.
Israel has condemnable for targeting a building in Gaza with international media outlets over the weekend. Officials claim that Hamas – which the U.S. has designated as a foreign terrorist organization – is running from the same building.
Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, said Washington had asked for details confirming the decision to strike the building after the attack but he had not seen any evidence itself.
Dennis Ross, a former Middle East negotiator under the Democratic and Republican administrations, said reading the call between Israeli and U.S. leaders showed that Biden was trying to end the crisis.
“It’s a tricky way to [Biden] pointing out: ‘OK, you’ve done what you need to do. Now it’s time to find a way to do it ‘, ”he said.
Separately, several rockets were fired by Israel from Lebanon on Monday, courtesy of UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force on the Lebanese -Israel border. Lebanese state media reported that Israel had retaliated with more than two dozen rockets. No casualties were reported in any of the incidents.
The incident was the second rocket attack from Lebanon, where thousands of Palestinian refugees live, as clashes began between Israel and Hamas. No damage was done to Israel.
Officials from Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed paramilitary group in Lebanon that fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006, were largely supported by Palestinian militants. But the group has not signaled their intention to add to the latest conflict.