Airstrikes Sent Hamas Many Years Back, Says Netanyahu; UN Deadlocked

Calls for a ceasefire became more intense as the Israeli-Hamas conflict resulted in more deaths , with both the sides launching more attacks on Wednesday.

Unceasing bombing of the Gaza strip by Israel has caused the deaths of more than 210 Gazans so far, while intense rocket fire into Israel is shaking the residents and testing the limits of the Israeli Iron Dome.

Clashes at Several Flashpoints

Even as air strikes and rocket fire continue, clashes are taking place in Arab dominant pockets within Israel as well as border regions and parts of West Bank. The 'day of rage' called for by the Fatah regime in Ramallah has resulted in intense clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli security personnel at various flashpoints.

UN Deadlock Continues

While the United Nations continued to be paralyzed by a deadlock, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would continue the attack on Gaza for as long as it was necessary.

Thai Workers Killed in Hamas Strike

Late on Tuesday, two workers from Thailand were killed in Hamas rocket fire in southern Israel. Seven more people were wounded as a rocket struck on an Israeli farm near the Gaza border, Israeli security official said.

AP office airstrike
Airstrike on AP news bureau office in Gaza Twitter

Gaza's Hamas militia and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack even as more rockets rained down on Israel's Ashdod and Beersheba cities as well, as clashes continued in the second week.

Israel Aims for 'Total, Long-Term Quiet'

Israel said the airstrikes on Gaza will not stop even as international pressure for a ceasefire mounted. "The fighting will not cease until we bring total and long-term quiet," Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said in a video statement, according to Reuters. He also blamed Hamas for the conflict.

Death Toll in Gaza, West Bank and Israel

The conflict has so far killed 213 Palestinians, including 61 children and 36 women, while Israeli authorities said 12 people have been killed in Israel, including two children. More than 1,400 people have been wounded in Israel. According to the Palestinian health ministry, the death toll in the West Bank rose to 24.

Hamas  Rocket attack
An apartment building in the town of Kiryat Malachi, damaged as a result of rockets fired from Gaza - File Photo Wikimedia Commons

450 Buildings in Gaza Razed

According to the United Nations humanitarian agency, some 450 buildings in the Gaza strip have been razed in Israeli air strikes. These buildings include hospitals, primary care health centres, commercial buildings and residential towers.

Hamas Fires Nearly 4,000 Rockets

Meanwhile, Israel has stated that more than 3,450 rockets were fired into the country by the Hamas. Most of these rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defence. Israel also said its air raids in Gaza killed at least 130 Palestinian militants.

Netanyahu, Abbas Ratchet Up Tensions

Netanyahu said Hamas and Islamic Jihad had received blows they didn't expect. "We've taken them many years back ... We'll continue as long as necessary to bring ... quiet back to the citizens of Israel," the Israeli prime minister said.

Meanwhile, the Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas exhorted Palestinians to observe a "day of anger". "We are here to raise our voice and stand with the people in Gaza who are being bombed," a Ramallah protester said, responding to the Fatah call, AFP reported.

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