At least 20 killed in Gaza after Israeli airstrikes

At least 20 killed in Gaza after Israeli airstrikes

At least 20 killed in Gaza after Israeli airstrikes

Israel launched deadly air strikes on Gaza Monday in response to a barrage of rockets fired by Hamas and other Palestinian militants, amid spiralling violence sparked by unrest at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. At least 20 people were killed, including nine children and a senior Hamas commander, and 65 others wounded, Gaza authorities said.

Dozens of rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system. But one landed near a home on the outskirts of Jerusalem, causing light damage to the structure and sparking a brush fire nearby. In southern Israel, an Israeli man was lightly wounded after a missile struck a vehicle.

Gaza health officials gave no further breakdowns on the casualties. At least 15 of the 22 deaths in Gaza were attributed to the airstrikes. Seven of the deaths were members of a single family, including three children, who died in a mysterious explosion in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. It was not clear if the blast was caused by an Israeli airstrike or errant rocket. More than 100 Gazans were wounded in the airstrikes, the Health Ministry said.

Israel’s military said it carried out strikes against armed groups, rocket launchers and military posts in Gaza after militants there crossed what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “red line” by firing on the Jerusalem area for the first time since a 2014 war.

Tensions in Jerusalem have flared since Israeli riot police clashed with Palestinian worshippers on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in the city’s worst disturbances since 2017. Nightly unrest since then at the Al-Aqsa compound has left hundreds of Palestinians wounded, drawing international calls for de-escalation and sharp rebukes from across the Muslim world.