Forty-Two Dead In ‘Deadliest Day’ Of Airstrikes, Gaza Officials Say
Forty-two people have died in what Gaza officials have described as the ‘deadliest day’ of airstrikes since the start of the current violence between Israel and Palestine.
Gaza officials have said 16 women and 10 children were among those who died in the most recent Israeli airstrikes.
The total death toll in Gaza has now reached 197 people, including 58 children and 34 women. A further 1,230 people have been injured.
In the early hours of Monday, May 17, more than 50 Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes on several areas of Gaza. Airstrikes struck a busy street in the city shortly after midnight, resulting in the collapse of at least three buildings.
Speaking with Reuters news agency, Riyad Eshkuntana described how he’d put his daughters to sleep in a room he had believed to be the furthest away from the explosions.
Tragically, three of his children and his wife died in the attack, with his six-year-old daughter Suzy being the only surviving member of his family.
Mr Eshkuntana said, per BBC News:
I ran to check upon the girls. My wife jumped, she hugged the girls to take them out from the room, then a second airstrike hit the room… The ceilings were destroyed and I was under the rubble.
The Palestinian health ministry has said a doctor was among those killed during the airstrikes. Dr Ayman Abu Al-Ouf had worked as the head of internal medicine at Shifa hospital and had been part of the coronavirus team.
Israel’s military stated it was targeting leaders and infrastructure connected to Hamas, and that it had also hit the homes of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and his brother Muhammad Sinwar, the reported head of logistics and manpower for the group.
This attack came shortly after Hamas militants fired multiple rockets at southern Israel both overnight and in the afternoon, leading to Israelis hiding in safe rooms and shelters.
Hamas rockets reportedly struck Ashkelon, Ashdod, Netivot as well as other parts of central and southern Israel. However, no casualties were reported.
The Israeli army reports that Palestinian militants have fired more than 3,000 rockets at Israel over the course of past week, leading to the deaths of ten people. Two children are understood to be among the dead.
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