The worst violence in years between Israelis and Palestinians showed no signs of letting up, as continued Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rocket fire prompted the United Nations to warn the conflict could mushroom into “full-scale war.”
Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza has now killed at least 48 people, including 14 children, and injured more than 300 more, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry. Israel says at least 15 of the dead were Hamas militants.
Militants in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel since the latest flare-up began Monday afternoon, killing five Israeli civilians and injuring more than 200 others. Many of the missiles were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, but several struck Tel Aviv, setting a bus ablaze and killing one Israeli woman. Thousands of Israelis spent the night in bomb shelters.
In Gaza, which has few bomb shelters and no air defense system, several buildings and apartments were damaged by Israeli airstrikes. One of those strikes brought a multi-story tower block tumbling down. The Israel Defense Forces said the building was a stronghold of Hamas military intelligence and weapons research.
The Israeli military says it does everything it can to minimize civilian casualties when carrying out attacks. However, Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said there was currently “no end date” for the military operation against Gaza.
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