The violence continued on Sunday as Israel launched the deadliest air strike on Gaza in the weeklong bombing campaign and the number of rockets fired from Gaza on Israel approached 3,000.
According to the Palestinian health authorities, at least 33 people were killed, including 12 women and eight children, and 50 others were injured in the Israeli bombing in Gaza City. They said the toll would likely go up as rescuers searched through the rubble, looking for victims and survivors.
The Israeli military has recognized civilian death on strike.
An Israeli plane “struck the Hamas terrorist organization’s underground military infrastructure, which was located under the road in the area in question,” said an Israeli Defense Forces spokesman. “The underground military facility collapsed, causing the foundations of the civil house above to collapse and unintentional victims. The target of the IDF strike was the military infrastructure. “
In a separate strike, the Israeli military said it had bombed the home of Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, in the southern city of Khan Younis. A video of the bombing was released.
At least 192 people – most of them civilians, including 58 children – have been killed by Israeli planes, drones and artillery since the campaign began on Monday, Palestinian officials said.
Israel says it killed 75 Palestinian militants, mostly Hamas activists, and accuses the group of using civilians as human shields. In air strikes that resulted in civilian casualties, Israel has often referred to the targets as weapons depots or militant operations centers.
In Israel, according to the Israeli authorities, 12 people were killed by Hamas rockets.
Israeli forces have hit more than 1,500 targets and severely damaged Hamas infrastructure, including the network of tunnels that move people and weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials said at a press conference following a security cabinet meeting.
“Hamas underground has gone down the drain,” he said. “The subway has gone from being a strategic asset to being a terrorist death trap.”
He described the Israeli forums as “doing everything possible to minimize the damage to the civilian population”.
Far more rockets have been fired at Israel than any week in previous conflicts, and some of them have a greater range than Hamas’ arsenal has shown in the past. Israeli officials have admitted being surprised at the range and intensity of the barrage. Hamas, which Iran has been helping to build increasingly sophisticated missiles, claimed this week some have a range of 155 miles, far enough to reach any point in Israel.
Israel intercepted about 1,100 missiles, military officials said on Sunday.
The Israeli military announced on Sunday that it had destroyed several underwater drones, unmanned Hamas submarines, at their base on the Mediterranean coast. The drones armed with explosives were intended for use against offshore gas rigs, according to Israeli officials.