Gaza City (Gaza Strip), May 18
Israel carried out a wave of airstrikes on what it said were militant targets in Gaza, levelling a six-storey building, while militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Tuesday.
Palestinians across the region observed a general strike as the war, now in its second week, showed no signs of abating. The strikes toppled a building that housed libraries and educational centres belonging to the Islamic University. Seen from roof height, the destruction loomed as a massive valley of rebar and concrete slabs. Desks, office chairs, books and computer wires could be seen peeking from the debris. Residents sifted through the rubble, searching for their belongings.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from the overnight strikes.
Heavy fighting broke out on May 10 when Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem in support of Palestinian protests there against Israel’s heavy-handed policing of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a flashpoint holy site sacred to Jews and Muslims, and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. Palestinians in Israel, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank observed a general strike on Tuesday to protest what many activists and some human rights groups say is a single system of apartheid of which the Gaza war is only one manifestation. — AP
UN agency: Situation in Gaza grim
- The UN humanitarian agency is describing an increasingly dire situation inside the Gaza Strip as the war between Israel and the territory’s Hamas rulers rages with no end in sight.
- Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, says nearly 47,000 Palestinians have fled their homes in more than a week. AP