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The battle between the Israeli military and Hamas militants has now entered a second week, as calls mount for an immediate cease-fire. So far, the violence has killed more than 200 Palestinians in Gaza, and another 10 people in Israel. That comes as the United Nations estimates more than 38,000 Palestinians have been forced to flee the airstrikes. Stephanie Sy reports.
The battle between the Israeli military and Hamas militants has now entered a second week, as calls mount for a cease-fire, including from President Biden this evening.
So far, the violence has killed at least 212 Palestinians in Gaza and another 10 people in Israel.
Stephanie Sy has our report.
As explosions continue to rock Gaza today, paramedics rush the injured to hospitals, relatives trailing not far behind, heartbroken.
Across Gaza, ruled by the militant group Hamas, families like these have bore the brunt of Israeli attacks that only intensified overnight.
Zuhair Albarquni (through translator):
The airstrikes went on since last night. At 2:30 at night, they kept bombing and bombing on houses and roads. They should hit those who hit them. They shouldn't hit the poor people sleeping in their homes.
Israeli bombardments have thundered down, unabated for a week now, set off last Monday when Hamas began firing rockets into Israel.
Israel today said they targeted the homes of nine militant commanders, including a top of leader of the Islamic Jihad group working alongside Hamas. The day's offensive also centered on destroying a network of underground tunnels used by militants for hiding and transporting equipment.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled out an immediate cease-fire until Hamas military capabilities are weakened.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (through translator):
The directive is to continue to strike at terror targets. We will continue to act as long as necessary to restore peace and security to all residents of Israel.
Attacks against Israel from Gaza only persisted today, with the number of rockets fired by Hamas climbing past 3,100. Israel says its missile defense system has intercepted about 90 percent of them.
But those that get through have wrecked havoc in cities like Ashdod, where a residential building was hit today. The fighting continued after a weekend that marked the deadliest day yet; 42 Palestinians were killed in Gaza on Sunday, including 10 children.
Israeli airstrikes also flattened a number of buildings across Gaza City, among them, a tower that housed the office of the Associated Press, Al-Jazeera and other media outlets.
Journalists scrambled to evacuate offices Saturday after Israel gave a half-hour warning before the airstrike. Netanyahu said the building was also used by Hamas and that proof of it has been shared with the United States.
But while traveling in Denmark today, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had yet to see evidence.
Sec. Tony Blinken:
I have not seen any information provided.
Blinken signaled there will be no immediate pressure from the U.S. for an end to the violence.
Ultimately, it is up to the parties to be clear that they want to pursue a cease-fire. Any cease-fire would be, by definition, between them. But we are ready to engage to support it.
The U.S. has so far blocked the U.N. Security Council from issuing a statement on the conflict.
But on a call with Netanyahu, President Biden expressed his support for a cease-fire, following growing calls for it in Congress. Republican Senator Todd Young of Indiana and Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut, both senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations panel, have issued a statement calling for a cease-fire; 28 other Senate Democrats are urging the same.
But neither side on the ground is giving off signs the strike will come to an end any time soon. And, late today, more fire from Southern Lebanon towards Northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery.
For the "PBS NewsHour" I'm Stephanie Sy.
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Stephanie Sy is a PBS NewsHour correspondent and serves as anchor of PBS NewsHour West. Throughout her career, she served in anchor and correspondent capacities for ABC News, Al Jazeera America, CBSN, CNN International, and PBS NewsHour Weekend. Prior to joining NewsHour, she was with Yahoo News where she anchored coverage of the 2018 Midterm Elections and reported from Donald Trump’s victory party on Election Day 2016.
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