Israel launches new strikes on Gaza as calls for ceasefire grow

Suzy, six, was rescued from rubble in Gaza City on Sunday, but five members of her family died
Suzy, six, was rescued from rubble in Gaza City on Sunday, but five members of her family died. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: On Monday, the Israeli military conducted dozens of air strikes on the Gaza Strip, after Palestinian militants fired barrages of rockets at southern Israeli cities. The heavy strikes seen as calls for ceasefire grow.

The pre-dawn raids on Gaza were some of the heaviest seen since the conflict began a week ago.

Israel said it hit facilities belonging Hamas, which rules Gaza, and several commanders’ homes, but main roads and power lines were also damaged.

There were no immediate reports of casualties following the heavy air strikes.

Gazan people have told of their fear. Najla Shawa, a Palestinian humanitarian worker and mother of two, said: “I was getting ready to die. I had to be at peace with it.”

Describing previous air strikes over the weekend in Gaza, she said: “People we know [were killed], people we work with… ordinary people, professional people, young and old.”

The fighting began after weeks of rising tensions between Israel and Palestine in occupied East Jerusalem that culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Hamas began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.

Over the past week, Israel says, more than 3,000 rockets have been fired into the country.

Rocket warning sirens sounded again on Monday in several areas around southern Israel. One rocket hit an apartment building in the city of Ashdod and several other were reportedly hurt.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials in Gaza said the overnight strikes had caused widespread power cuts and damaged hundreds of homes and other buildings.

International calls for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel have continued to mount.

On Monday, Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday that his country was “going to great lengths to reach a ceasefire… and hope still exists”.

You may read: Gazan officials say Sunday was ‘deadliest day’