Israel Destroys More Militant Tunnels; US Concerned
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Israel’s military said Monday that a new heavy wave of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip destroyed militant tunnels and the homes of nine Hamas commanders, raising concerns in the White House.
Amid the turmoil, U.S. President Joe Biden made clear he supports a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza Strip militant Hamas rulers.
Biden spoke about the escalating conflict in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Monday was the eighth day of airstrikes and rocket barrages that have killed at least 200 people, most of them Palestinians, including children, in the Gaza Strip.
The White House readout of the call showed increased White House concern that the fighting – including Israeli airstrikes aimed at weakening Hamas — come to an end.
The U.S. leader also “encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians,” according to a White House readout.
However, Israel made clear Monday it would press on for now with its attacks against Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza.
The United States signaled it would not “pressure” the two sides for a cease-fire though President Joe Biden said he supported one.
The International diplomacy did little to ease tensions with the latest Israeli attacks destroying the five-story building housing the Hamas-run Religious Affairs Ministry.
Israel claimed the complex housed the principal operations center of Hamas’ internal security forces. Israel also killed a top Gaza Strip leader of Islamic Jihad, another militant group whom the Israeli military blamed for some of the thousands of rocket attacks launched at Israel in recent days. Israel said its strikes destroyed 15 kilometers (9 miles) of tunnels used by militants.
At least 212 Palestinians have been killed in the week of airstrikes, including 61 children and 36 women, with more than 1,400 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Ten people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier, have been killed in the ongoing rocket attacks launched from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel.
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