Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attacks in Gaza would continue “for as long as necessary”, amid ongoing hostilities that have so far killed 148.
At least three Palestinians were killed in air strikes early Sunday, health officials said, and many were injured as heavy bombardment was heard at night.
According to photos circulated by residents and journalists, the airstrikes created a crater that blocked one of the main roads leading to Shifa, the largest hospital in the strip, the Associated Press reported.
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza on Saturday killed eight young cousins who had gathered to celebrate Eid with their mothers.
Sirens have erupted in Israel warning of incoming rocket fire in Tel Aviv and its suburbs and southern Israel. About 10 people were injured while applying for asylum, medics said.
Both Israel and Hamas have insisted on continuing their cross-border fire a day after Israel destroyed a 12-storey building in Gaza City, which housed the Associated Press and Qatar-based media operation Al Jazeera.
The Israeli military said al-Jalal’s building was a legitimate military target containing Hamas military offices and had warned civilians to leave the building before the attack.
The AP condemned the attack and asked Israel to provide evidence. “We have no indication that Hamas was in the building or acted in it,” the news organization said in a statement.
Late Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel “is still in the midst of this operation, it is not over yet and this operation will continue as long as necessary.”
In an outbreak of air strikes early Sunday, Israel targeted the home of Yehia Al Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Envoys from the United States, the United Nations and Egypt are working to restore calm, but are yet to show signs of progress. The UN Security Council was due to convene later Sunday to discuss the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has reminded “all parties that any indiscriminate targeting of civilian and media structures violates international law and should be avoided at all costs,” UN spokesman Stefan Dujarric said in a statement Saturday.
Hamas launched its rocket attack Monday after weeks of tensions over a lawsuit to evict several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and revenge for clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians near the city’s third-holiest al-Aqsa mosque. of Islam, during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
Speaking to crowds of protesters in the Qatari capital, Doha, Hamas chief Ismail Hanie said late Saturday that the main reason for the hostilities was Jerusalem.
“The Zionists thought … that they could destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. “They thought they could displace our people to Sheikh Jara,” Hanie said.
“I tell Netanyahu: don’t play with fire,” he continued, amid applause from the crowd. “The title of this battle today, the title of the war, and the title of the intifada is Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” using the Arabic word for “uprising.”
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other battle groups have fired about 2,300 rockets from Gaza since Monday, the Israeli military said on Saturday. It says about 1,000 were intercepted by missile defenses and 380 fell in Gaza.
Israel has struck more than 1,000 air and artillery strikes on the densely populated coastline, saying they were aimed at Hamas and other combat targets.
In recent days, there has been a wave of US diplomacy trying to quell the violence.
President Joe Biden’s envoy, Hadi Amr, arrived in Israel on Friday for talks. Biden spoke with both Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas late Saturday in an attempt to defuse the situation, but there were few signs of success during the week as the death toll rose steadily.
Mediation is complicated by the fact that the United States and most Western powers do not speak to Hamas, which they consider a terrorist organization. And Abbas, whose powerful base is in the occupied West Bank, has little influence on Hamas in Gaza.
In Israel, the conflict has been accompanied by violence among the country’s mixed Jewish and Arab communities, with attacked synagogues and vandalized Arab-owned shops.
There has also been an increase in deadly clashes in the occupied West Bank. At least 12 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops there since Friday, most of them during clashes.
Demonstrations condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza took place around the world on Saturday, including in London, Europe, the United States and Australia.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to the report.