43 civilians killed, nearly 300 injured as Israel continues air strikes on Palestinians in Gaza
The death toll from Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in Palestine has climbed to 43, including 13 children and three woman.
The Gaza Health Ministry, as per a report by Associated PRess, said nearly 300 Palestinians in the territory have been wounded in the strikes, which began Monday.
The worst fighting since the 2014 Gaza war was ignited by clashes in Jerusalem in recent weeks between Palestinian people and Israeli police focused on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a site sacred to Jews and Muslims.
Rockets streamed out of Gaza and Israel pounded the territory with airstrikes early Wednesday as the most severe outbreak of violence since the 2014 war took on many hallmarks of that devastating 50-day conflict, with no endgame in sight.
Israeli airstrikes have leveled two apartment towers in the Gaza Strip, where 2 million Palestinians have lived under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas took power in 2007. Warning shots have allowed civilians to evacuate the buildings, but the material losses will be immense. Israel faced heavy criticism over the tactic during the 2014 war.
Just after daybreak Wednesday, Israel unleashed dozens of airstrikes in the course of a few minutes, targeting police and security installations, witnesses said. A wall of dark gray smoke rose over Gaza City. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said airstrikes destroyed the central police headquarters in Gaza City, a compound with several buildings.
The death toll in Gaza rose to 35 Palestinians, including 12 children and three women, according to the Health Ministry. Some 233 people were wounded. Five Israelis, including three women and a child, were killed by rocket fire Tuesday and early Wednesday, and dozens of people were wounded.
In a brief statement, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she had noted with great concern the escalation of violence in the region and the possible commission of crimes under the Rome Statute that established the court.
The latest eruption of violence began a month ago in Jerusalem, where heavy-handed police tactics during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers ignited protests and clashes with police. A focal point was the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a site sacred to Jews and Muslims.