Israel launches dozens of Gaza strikes as conflict enters second week

Israeli warplanes have unleashed a series of heavy airstrikes at several locations of Gaza City. Explosions rocked the city from north to south for 10 minutes early on May 17.

The airstrikes were heavier, on a wider area, and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier on May 16 in which 42 Palestinians were killed. That attack was the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence between Israel ad the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza.

According to the witnesses, roads, security buildings, militants’ training camps and houses were bombed in Israeli attacks that seemed to be focused on Gaza City. The sound of explosions echoed in many part of the Palestinian enclave overnight.

The Israeli military in a statement said fighter jets struck “terror targets”, after rocket barrages from Gaza were fired at the Israeli cities of Beersheba and Ashkelon just after midnight.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza in phone calls with the Qatari, Egyptian and Saudi foreign ministers, the State Department said on May 16.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s campaign in Gaza was continuing at “full force”, and that deterrence had to be achieved to prevent future conflict with Hamas.

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