News / Middle East

Israeli Strikes Kill 21 Palestinians, Gaza Rockets Wound 10 Israelis

A Palestinian man kisses the body of one of his children during their funeral in the northern Gaza Strip, November 18, 2012. (Reuters)A Palestinian man kisses the body of one of his children during their funeral in the northern Gaza Strip, November 18, 2012. (Reuters)
x
A Palestinian man kisses the body of one of his children during their funeral in the northern Gaza Strip, November 18, 2012. (Reuters)
A Palestinian man kisses the body of one of his children during their funeral in the northern Gaza Strip, November 18, 2012. (Reuters)
Palestinian medics say Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed at least 21 Palestinians in the deadliest day of Israel's five-day offensive to stop rocket fire by Gaza militants onto its territory.

Israeli warplanes struck several buildings in Gaza City on Sunday, including a multi-story house where the medics say at least 11 civilians were killed, mostly women and children.  It is not clear whether militants were among the casualties.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Ilana Stein says that one of the air strikes was aimed at the Hamas commander of rocket operations in northern Gaza, but that his fate is not known.  She acknowledged that some Gaza civilians have been killed by Israeli warplanes targeting militants.

Palestinian medics say the death toll from the Israeli offensive has risen to at least 67 Palestinian civilians and militants since last Wednesday.  Palestinian rocket attacks have killed three Israeli civilians.

The Israeli military reported at least 114 rockets fired against Israel Sunday. The military says the Iron Dome defense system intercepted 36 rockets, including several aimed at Tel Aviv, the fourth straight day the city has been targeted.  Other rockets struck residential areas in southern Israel, wounding about 10 civilians, five of them in a car that was hit in the town of Ofakim.

U.S. President Barack Obama says efforts to resolve the fighting must begin with Gaza militants ending their rocket barrage of Israel.  He spoke on Sunday while on a visit to the Thailand.

Mr. Obama reiterated U.S. support for Israel's right to defend itself and said it would be "preferable" to end the missile fire without an Israeli escalation of its offensive.  Mr. Obama said he has had several conversations with the leaders of Israel, Egypt and Turkey in recent days to try to achieve that goal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he is prepared to "significantly expand" operations against Gaza militants.  His government has massed thousands of troops on Israel's border with Gaza in preparation for a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-run territory.

An Israeli official arrived in Cairo for Egyptian-mediated talks on a potential truce with Hamas.  Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement has ideological ties to the Palestinian group.  Cairo also maintains a peace agreement with Israel.

While in Bangkok, Mr. Obama said that supporters of the Palestinian cause should recognize that further escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict would mean that efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process will be "pushed way into the future."

In Sunday's strikes on Gaza, Israeli warplanes also attacked two adjacent buildings housing media offices, wounding eight journalists, one of whom lost a leg.  Israel's military said it attacked communications equipment used by Hamas and urged reporters to stay away from militant positions and operatives.

The media rights group Reporters Without Borders condemned Israel, accusing it of obstructing freedom of information.  The group also demanded an immediate end to such attacks. Israel says it has no intention of harming members of the foreign media and that it continues to allow them to enter Gaza to do their work.

Israel began its offensive with a November 14 air strike that killed Hamas's military leader in Gaza.  It said the attack was in response to weeks of intensifying rocket fire from Gaza on southern Israeli communities.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid