Gaza Strip, Palestine – At least 26 people, including nine children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours in Israeli air strikes on the besieged coastal territory, with most of the casualties reported from Beit Hanoun town in the north.
According to the Gaza’s ministry of health, 122 others were wounded in the air raids that came after a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel. No Israeli casualties have been reported so far.
The developments capped a tumultuous day after Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – Islam’s third holiest site – on Monday morning with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets. At least 520 Palestinians were wounded, the Red Crescent said.
Occupied East Jerusalem has been on the boil in recent weeks over the potential forced expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
Israeli forces continued to bombard different areas in Gaza, targeting sites in Khan Younis, al-Zaitoun neighbourhood and the al-Bureij refugee camp as part of an offensive it named “Guardians of the Wall”.
On early Tuesday morning, Israeli warplanes targeted a home in the al-Shati refugee camp, killing a mother and her disabled son.
A few hours later, a 13th-floor residential building in the Rimal neighbourhood in Gaza City was also struck, leaving three Palestinians dead. Videos showed the residents fleeing from the al-Jundi building in panic, with children crying and hair greyed by rubble.
The Israeli military’s chief of staff has issued orders to continue the raids on the Gaza Strip – home to two million people. The military has fired around 130 rockets at targets in the Gaza Strip so far, and an estimated 15 members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group have been killed, an army spokesperson said.