MIDDLE EAST

UN Security Council to meet as Israel-Gaza violence escalates

The building housing the offices of the Associated Press and other media in Gaza City collapses after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike Saturday, May 15, 2021.
The building housing the offices of the Associated Press and other media in Gaza City collapses after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike Saturday, May 15, 2021. AP - Hatem Moussa

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years entered its seventh day. At least 42 people were reported killed in Israeli strikes on Sunday in the worst daily toll since the start of clashes, according to Gaza officials. 

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Both Israel and Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, said they would continue their cross-border fire after Israel destroyed a building housing the Associated Press and Al Jazeera media operations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that "any indiscriminate targeting of civilian and media structures violates international law and must be avoided at all costs”.

The Israel military said the al-Jalaa building was a legitimate target, containing Hamas military offices, and that it had given advance warnings to civilians to get out of the building.

But AP released a statement to say there was “no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building”.

In a television address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeli forces were "in the midst of this operation" that would “continue for as long as necessary”.

He accused Hamas of "hiding behind civilians".

Palestinian officials say 190 people have now been killed, including 47 children, since the fighting began on Monday. Another 1,100 have been wounded. Israel has reported 10 dead, including a child and a soldier, with at least 560 Israelis wounded.

(with wires)

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