GAZA: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Gaza residents to leave any site where Palestinian fighters were operating, saying the locations could be attacked.
“I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to vacate immediately every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us,” he said in broadcast remarks, a day after an Israeli airstrike flattened a Gaza apartment tower.
The Israeli military warned the 11-storey building’s residents to leave, shortly before launching the attack. It said the tower had housed a Hamas command centre. The residential block in the centre of Gaza City collapsed wounding 22 people, including 11 children.
Local residents said the building housed 32 families.
Israel has carried out a series of airstrikes on several commercial and residential targets across Gaza, with a seven-storey office building being the latest one. On Sunday morning, Gaza police said Israeli airstrikes collapsed Zafer tower.
On the same day, a building containing shops in Rafah was hit by an Israeli airstrike, causing a fire. Six Palestinians were injured in the incident, according to Gaza health officials at Najjar hospital in Rafah.
In another incident, an Israeli airstrike killed two people on a motorcycle in Gaza City on Sunday, medical officials said.
Israeli aircraft hit 20 targets in Gaza on Sunday morning, while Palestinian fighters fired at least 20 rockets or mortar rounds at Israel, the army said.
At least 11 Palestinians were killed in a series of Israeli air strikes on Saturday, as the Israeli military offensive continues.
The Israeli prime minister said that his Gaza offensive would continue as long as necessary, a day after an Egyptian call for a ceasefire and new truce talks.
“Operation Protective Edge will continue until its aims are achieved… it may take time,” he said of the Gaza Strip operation launched on July 8, in remarks broadcast by public radio.
Netanyahu also added a veiled warning to neighbouring Lebanon and Syria after overnight rocket fire into Israel.
“There is not and will not be any immunity for anyone who fires at Israeli citizens, and that is true for every sector and every border,” he said.
Amid the violence, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held talks with senior officials of the Arab League on Saturday night in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Earlier that day, Abbas stressed his willingness to achieve a long-term ceasefire between the two enemies.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Saturday urged Israel and Hamas to resume indirect talks and agree to an open-ended ceasefire.
Since the fighting began in July, 2,106 people, most of them civilians, have been killed, according to Palestinian health officials. Since the conflict began in July, 68 Israelis have been killed – including three civilians. A Thai national was also killed in Israel. Agencies