Gaza City/United Nations, May 16
Israeli warplanes have struck several buildings and roads in a vital part of Gaza City early Sunday.
According to photos circulated by residents and journalists, the airstrikes created a crater that blocked one of the main roads leading to Shifa, the largest hospital in the strip.
The Health Ministry said the latest airstrikes left at least two dead and 25 wounded, including children and women. It said rescuers are still digging through the rubble and had so far pulled up five more wounded.
Two hours into the heavy bombardment, there has been no comment from the Israeli military.
A UN spokesman said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “deeply disturbed” by the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City housing offices of several international media organisations and residential apartments, and is “dismayed” by the increasing number of civilian casualties.
“The secretary-general reminds all sides that any indiscriminate targeting of civilian and media structures violates international law and must be avoided at all costs,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Saturday.
Earlier Saturday, an Israeli airstrike pulverized a high-rise building that housed The Associated Press, Al Jazeera and other media after warning that it was being targeted.
Guterres singled out the death of 10 members of the same family including children as a result of an Israeli airstrike Friday in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Saturday.
Chinese calls for UN action
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.
“Regrettably, the council has so far failed to reach an agreement, with the United States standing on the opposite side of international justice,” the state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Wang as saying in a phone conversation Saturday with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
He expressed support for a two-state solution, and said China, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, expects all parties to speak with a unified voice when the council discusses the conflict later Sunday.
Wang said the Security Council should reconfirm a two-state solution and urge Palestinians and Israelis to resume talks on that basis as soon as possible. — Agencies