Israel unleashes a strike amid rising expectations for a ceasefire

Gaza Strip, Gaza Strip (AP) —Israel unleashed another wave of airstrikes across Gaza Strip early Thursday, killing at least one Palestinian and injuring several.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have decided to do the most damage to Hamas, in opposition to the US call to end the Gaza offensive. In a war that can help save his political career.. Still, close-to-negotiation officials say they expect the ceasefire to be announced within the next 24 hours.

Explosions struck the city of Gaza, orange flares illuminated the pre-dawn sky, and bombings were also reported in the central town of Deiral-Balah and the southern town of Khan Yunis. As the sun rose, residents investigated rubble from at least five family homes destroyed in Khan Eunice. There was also a violent airstrike on a commercial road in Gaza.

The Israeli army said it had targeted “military infrastructure” and attacked at least three homes of Commander Hamas in Khan Eunice, another home in Rafa, and a weapons storage unit in a home in the city of Gaza.

U.S. President Joe Biden expects Israel to “significantly escalate today on the road to a ceasefire” on Wednesday as hundreds have already been killed in the worst battle since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. Said that. He “decided to continue this operation until that goal was achieved.”It marked the first public rift between two close allies since the battle began and posed. A difficult test of US-Israel relations Early of President Biden.

Still, Egyptian intelligence officials said the ceasefire was likely to occur at the end of Thursday or early Friday after US appeals boosted Cairo’s own efforts to stop the fighting. Officials discussed subtle discussions on condition of anonymity.

Khalid Okasha, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Egypt, which has close ties to the government, said a ceasefire was likely to occur during that period, as did Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official. ..

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited the area and said Israel “has the right to protect itself from such unacceptable attacks.” However, he also expressed concern about the increase in civilian casualties and support for ceasefire efforts.

Even when diplomatic efforts seemed to be gathering power, Israeli airstrikes slammed into and destroyed the Kawardi two-story house in Khan Eunice. Neighbor Shaker al-Cosondal said all 11 residents who slept outside the house in fear were injured and hospitalized.

The shrapnel also struck his own home, killing his aunt and injuring her daughter and two other relatives, he said. Al-Khozondar spoke from the bedroom of her aunt Hoda, who died. The windows were shattered, and the pillows and rubble on the bed were stained with blood.

Weam Fares, a spokesman for a nearby hospital, confirmed the death and said at least 10 people were injured in an overnight strike.

Violent airstrikes also struck the streets of the Javanese refugee camp in northern Gaza, destroying a fragile house with a corrugated metal roof nearby. The military said it had attacked two underground launchers in the camp used to launch rockets in Tel Aviv.

“I’ve never seen such a destruction in my life,” said 44-year-old Ibrahim Afana. bombing. He said the military had called in some residents to warn them about an imminent strike. There were no reports of casualties.

The current battle round between Israel and Hamas began on May 10, after a group of militants launched a long-range rocket at Jerusalem. Days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police on the premises of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, A sacred flash point site for Jews and Muslims.With aggressive police tactics in the complex Threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families Jewish settlers were intensified.

Since then Israel has Hundreds of airstrikes It is targeting Hamas’ infrastructure, including a vast tunnel network.Hamas and other militant groups embedded in residential areas have launched more than 4,000 rockets. In the city of Israel, Hundreds were missing and most of the rest were intercepted.

At least 230 Palestinians were killed and 1,710 were injured, including 65 children and 39 women, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad of militant groups say at least 20 fighters have been killed, and Israel says at least 130 have been killed. About 58,000 Palestinians have been displaced.

In Israel, 12 people were killed, including a 5-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl, and a soldier. The military said an anti-tank missile launched from Gaza collided with an empty bus near the frontier on Thursday, causing minor injuries to Israeli soldiers.

Since the beginning of the fighting, Gaza’s infrastructure has already been weakened by a 14-year blockade. Rapid deterioration.. After Hamas seized power in 2007, Israel and Egypt imposed blockades in areas where there was a shortage of medicines, water and fuel for electricity.

According to advocacy group Save the Children, the Israeli bombing damaged more than 50 schools across the territory and completely destroyed at least six. Education for nearly 42,000 children will be interrupted during the repairs.

According to the World Health Organization, the Israeli attack damaged at least 18 hospitals and clinics and destroyed one medical facility. Almost half of all essential drugs are deficient.


Klaus reported from Jerusalem. The Associated Press writer Isabel DeBre of Dubai, Frank Jordans of Berlin, United Arab Emirates, and Samy Magdy of Cairo contributed to this report.

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