Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed 17 Palestinians Sunday, raising the death toll in the crowded coastal enclave since bombardments escalated last Monday to 174, Gaza’s health ministry said.
Among the people killed are 47 children, it said. In Israel, 10 people have been killed in total, with barrages of rockets fired from Gaza.
Israel’s army said Sunday about 3,000 rockets had been fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza towards the Jewish state since conflict escalated seven days ago.
Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system has intercepted approximately 1,150 rockets, the Army said.
“Hamas has been carrying out a very intense attack in terms of rate of fire,” Israeli General Ori Gordin told reporters as Israeli strikes have kept hitting targets in the enclave.
Israel hit the home of Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas’ political wing in the Gaza Strip, the army said, but without saying if he was killed.
“Among the targets struck are the residences of Yahya Sinwar, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau in Gaza, as well as of his brother, Muhammad Sinwar, Head of Logistics and Manpower for Hamas,” Israel’s army said in a statement, releasing a video showing plumes of smoke and intense damage.
“Both residences served as military infrastructure for the Hamas terror organization.”
Witnesses confirmed to AFP a strike had hit Sinwar’s house.
Sinwar, a former commander of Hamas’s military branch, served more than two decades in an Israeli jail before he was released in 2011 as a part of a prisoner exchange.
First elected as the head of Hamas’s political wing in Gaza in 2017, he was re-elected in March, extending his tenure as the Islamist movement’s de facto leader in the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave.
Hamas overall chief Ismail Haniyeh is currently based in Qatar.
The army said it had also carried out strikes targeting Hamas tunnel systems.