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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs