At least seven Palestinians have been reported killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza as early as Saturday, the heaviest battle between Israel and Hamas since 2014, with no end in sight, despite U.S. and US efforts. Egypt to achieve a ceasefire.
Palestinian media quoted The Times of Israel as saying that the children were among the dead, while several other people were locked in the rubble of a house.
If the death toll is confirmed, it will be the largest number of civilian casualties from an air strike in the current conflict, which began on Monday.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IS) did not respond directly to the report of the deadly air attack, but said in a statement from the Times of Israel that it had targeted several missile targets and two Hamas “terrorist groups.”
“The attacks were carried out through the rapid closure of the circle, the lethal ability to fire and accurate reconnaissance of the Gaza Division,” they said.
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Earlier in the evening, the ID tweeted dramatic footage of a fireball caused by a rocket fired from Gaza hitting a fuel depot in the Mediterranean port of Ashdod.
“Missile barrages are fired non-stop from Gaza into southern Israel,” the IDF wrote. “Tonight a rocket hit the city of Ashdod – see for yourself the damage. This will not go unanswered. “
There were no reports of casualties from the rocket attack in Ashdod, which is the third in the city on Friday night until Saturday morning. An earlier strike in the port and a direct hit in an apartment building also did not cause any injuries.
Nine Israelis were killed during the latest conflict, including a 6-year-old boy and a soldier. Authorities in Gaza say at least 126 people have been killed, including 31 children and 20 women. Israel claims many of the civilian casualties were caused by Hamas-fired missiles that failed to reach their targets.
Officials in Washington and Cairo are trying to force a halt to the fighting, and the UN Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting on Sunday morning. An Egyptian intelligence official told the Associated Press that Israel had already rejected an Egyptian offer of a one-year ceasefire, which Hamas accepted.
Hamas has fired about 2,000 rockets at Israel since Monday, according to the Israeli military.
With Post wires