Gaza/Doha/UNHQ, May 16 (UNI): The Israel military confirmed that Hamas militants have resumed firing rockets into the southern part of the country.
“A barrage of rockets is being fired from Gaza into southern Israel,” the IDF tweeted.
According to local media, there are initial reports of a rocket striking a building in Ashkelon and also reports of possible impacts in Ashdod.
The Gaza health ministry said on Sunday 174 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes till now, and among them 47 are children.
Doctors are expecting the number of casualties to further rise as medical and rescue teams continue searching the rubble of buildings in Gaza.
As per latest reports, about 2,900 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory since the start of the hostilities on May 10. On the Israeli side, eight civilians and one soldier were reportedly killed in the shelling.
Israel has retaliated by launching air attacks on the suspected Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
About 10,000 residents of the Gaza Strip had to leave their homes because of the Israeli airstrikes, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Sunday.
“More than 10,000 people in the Gaza Strip were forced to leave their homes as a result of barbaric bombings, hundreds of buildings were destroyed,” al-Maliki stated at an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the level of foreign ministers.
The Palestinian diplomat accused Israel of “pursuing an apartheid policy towards the Palestinians” and called for the creation of an “international front” that would confront Israel’s “aggression against the Palestinian people”.
The meeting was initiated by Saudi Arabia in a video-conference format as Israeli-Palestinian armed hostilities have not ceased for already one week.
Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres described the destruction of media offices in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israeli airstrikes as “extremely concerning”, stressing that journalists should be able to work safely in conflict environments.
As armed hostilities between Israel and Palestine’s Hamas continued throughout the week, among the buildings destroyed in Gaza by Israeli rockets was a high-rise lodging offices of international media agencies, including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera.
“Journalists must be allowed to work free of fear and harassment. The destruction of media offices in Gaza is extremely concerning,” Guterres said in opening remarks to a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.