May 16 (UPI) — Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City killed at least 33 people in Gaza City, including two boys 1 and 3, early Sunday morning in the deadliest day since fighting between the two sides last Monday, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said.
Most of those killed from the extended al-Kolak family, according to the Hamas Health Ministry as reported by The Times of Israel.
Also killed was Palestinian doctor Ahmad Abu al-Aouf, who was director of internal medicine at Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital. And one of area’s few neurologist, also was reportedly killed.
Yehiyeh Sinwar, the most senior Hamas leader inside the territory, and his brother Muhammad, also a senior Hamas member, were targeted in a separate strike in the southern town of Khan Younis, the Hindustan Times reported, according to Israeli military. Homes of senior Hamas leaders were attacked twice before.
Dozens were under a collapsed building in an upscale upscale al-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City, according to the Palestinian Civil Defense organization.
“We’re hearing screams under the rubble,” a member of the Civil Defense told the Al-Jazeera TV network as the search and rescue operation continued behind him.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said 174 Palestinians, including 47 children, have died and 1,200 wounded since the fighting between Hamas and Israel began on Monday night.
Israel has said it does not target civilians with most members of terror groups or killed by errant Palestinian rockets.
The Israeli Army said Palestinian terrorists have fired over 2,500 rockets at the nation since the outbreak of fighting with 90% intercepted. Ten people, including a 5-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl, have been killed and hundreds have been injured.
U.S. diplomat Hady Amr has been dispatched to the region and the U.N. Security Council is set to meet. The U.S. government has been attempting to de-escalate the crisis but has affirmed its support for Israel.
“The campaign will continue as long as it is required,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised speech Saturday. He alleged that Hamas military intelligence was operating inside the building.
Earlier Saturday, airstrikes leveled a 12-story al-Jalaa Building, where the offices of the Associated Press, the TV network Al-Jazeera and other media outlets are located, along with several floors of apartments.
“We now have an International Criminal Court investigation open on the situation in the Palestinian Territories, since 2014,” Saleh Hijazi, deputy regional director at Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa, told Al Jazeera. “We call on the ICC to look into this incident.” He was referring to the bombing of international media offices.
“Such a disproportionate attack amounts to war crime. In addition, this follows a pattern of collective punishment against the Palestinian people in Gaza.”