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Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza continued on Sunday as Hamas militants fired more rockets at Israel, marking the seventh day of the exchange of fire. Three buildings in Gaza collapsed and at least 42 people were killed in what is now the deadliest attack since fighting began a week ago, according to the Associated Press.
More than 180 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since last Monday, including dozens of children. Eight people were killed in Israel. Thousands more in Gaza are now homeless as a result of Israeli airstrikes.
The IDF said on Sunday it had destroyed the home of Yahiyeh Sinwar, a senior Hamas official, reports Ruth Sherlock of NPR. Israel has targeted the homes of other Hamas officials, many of whom have gone into hiding.
Sunday’s airstrikes also led to a large crater in a main road that leads to Gaza’s largest hospital.
Hady Amr, the United States’ Assistant Under Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs, is one of the international mediators working to end the fighting. The United Nations Security Council met on Sunday to discuss the ongoing conflict in a public meeting.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said what was happening was “absolutely appalling” and called for an immediate end to the fighting.
“This latest wave of violence only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes further on the horizon any hope of coexistence and peace,” said Guterres. “The fighting must stop. They must stop immediately.”
Guterres reiterated UN calls for a ceasefire, saying there had already been “unacceptable deaths, immense suffering and damage to vital infrastructure.”
Pope Francis also called for an end to the fighting on Sunday, saying the deaths of innocent people, including children, were “unacceptable”.
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On Saturday, thousands of people around the world took part in pro-Palestinian protests to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks the period 1948 when the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians began when Israel declared independence. .
The Palestinian Youth Movement has organized events in at least 22 cities in North America. In Washington, DC, activists marched from the Washington Monument to Capitol Hill chanting “Free, Free Palestine!” and demanding more action from the Biden administration. President Biden said last week that Israel “has the right to defend itself” and that he hopes the violence will end “as soon as possible”.
Ahead of the protests, an Israeli airstrike razed a high-rise building that housed the offices of the Associated Press, Al-Jazeera and several other media outlets on Saturday. The building, which was evacuated before the attack, also included residential apartments.
The Israel Defense Forces issued a statement saying the building was targeted because Hamas had intelligence offices there. But PA President and CEO Gary Pruitt calls on the Israeli government to provide proof of this claim.
In a statement, Pruitt said all journalists and freelancers in the building stood out before the attack, but noted that the world “will now know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what is happening. passed today “.
Ruth Sherlock of NPR contributed to this report.