26 die as Israel hits Hamas

Gaza City (Gaza Strip), May 11

Israel unleashed new airstrikes on Gaza early Tuesday, hitting a pair of high-rise buildings believed to be housing militants, as Hamas and other armed groups bombarded southern Israel with hundreds of rockets.

The conflict escalated relentlessly throughout the day, and Israel vowed that its strikes would only increase.

The latest exchange of fire was sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusalem.

Since sundown Monday, 26 Palestinians — including nine children and a woman— were killed in Gaza, most by airstrikes, Gaza health officials said. The Israeli military said at least 16 of the dead were militants.

During the same period, Gaza militants fired hundreds of rockets toward Israel, killing two Israeli civilians and wounding 10 others. — AP

‘Stepping up strikes’

Jerusalem: Israel will step up its Gaza strikes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday after a surge in cross-border Palestinian rocket launches killed two women in a southern city. Reuters

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