Israel bombs prime Hamas chief’s home

Gaza/Jerusalem, May 16

Israeli air strikes killed 33 Palestinians, including 13 children, in Gaza early on Sunday and militants fired rockets into Israel as hostilities stretched into a seventh day.

The pre-dawn attacks were on houses in the centre of Gaza City, health officials said.

Utterly appalling, says UN chief

New York: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday that hostilities in Israel and Gaza were “utterly appalling” and called for an immediate end to fighting. He said the “UN is actively engaging all sides toward an immediate ceasefire”. Reuters

China blames us for ‘lack of action’

Beijing: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called on the UN Security Council to seek an early de-escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers. He also blamed the US for the council’s lack of action so far. AP

The death toll in Gaza jumped to 181, including 52 children, since the fighting erupted last Monday. In Israel, 10 persons, including two children, have been killed in rocket attacks by Hamas and other militant groups.

Both Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the enclave, said they would continue their cross-border fire after Israel destroyed a 12-storey building in Gaza City on Saturday that housed offices of two media houses.

Israelis dashed for bomb shelters as sirens warning of incoming rocket fire blared in Tel Aviv and the southern city of Beersheba. Around 10 persons were injured while running for shelters, medics said.

In a burst of air strikes early on Sunday, the Israeli military said it struck the house of Yehya Al-Sinwar in the southern Gaza City of Khan Younis. Sinwar, who was released from an Israeli prison in 2011, heads the political and military wings of Hamas in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that an end to seven days of hostilities with Gaza militants was not imminent, despite diplomatic moves to retore calm. “Our campaign against the terrorist organisations is continuing with full force,” Netanyahu said in a televised speech. “We are acting now, for as long as necessary, to restore calm and quiet to you, Israel’s citizens. It will take time,” he added. — Reuters

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