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

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs