Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza continued Sunday as Hamas militants fired more rockets into Israel, marking the seventh day of the fire exchange. Three buildings in Gaza collapsed and at least 42 people were killed in what is now the deadliest single attack since fighting began a week ago, according to the Associated Press.
More than 180 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since last Monday, including dozens of children. Eight people have been killed in Israel. Thousands more in Gaza are now homeless as a result of the Israeli airstrikes.
The Israeli military said Sunday that it destroyed the home of Yahiyeh Sinwar, one of Hamas’ top officials, NPR’s Ruth Sherlock reports. Israel has targeted the homes of other Hamas officials, many who have gone into hiding.
The airstrikes on Sunday also led to a large crater in a main road that leads to Gaza’s largest hospital.
Hady Amr, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel and Palestinian affairs, is one of the international mediators working on an end to the fighting. The United Nations Security Council met on Sunday to discuss the ongoing conflict in an open meeting.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said what is happening is “utterly appalling” and called for an immediate end to the fighting.
“This latest round of violence only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace,” Guterres said. “Fighting must stop. It must stop immediately.”
Guterres reiterated U.N. calls for a ceasefire, saying there has already been “unconscionable death, immense suffering and damage to vital infrastructure.”
Pope Francis also called for an end to the fighting on Sunday, saying the deaths of innocent people, including children, are “unacceptable.”
On Saturday, thousands across the world took part in pro-Palestinian protests to commemorate Nakba Day, which marks in period 1948 when displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians began as Israel declared independence.
The Palestinian Youth Movement organized events in at least 22 cities across North America. In Washington, D.C., activists marched from the Washington Monument to the Capitol building chanting “Free, Free Palestine!” and demanding more action from the Biden administration. President Biden said last week that Israel “has a right to defend itself” and that he hoped the violence would end “sooner rather than later.”
Prior to the protests, an Israeli airstrike leveled a high-rise building on Saturday that housed the offices of The Associated Press, Al-Jazeera and several other media outlets. The building, which was evacuated before the attack, also included residential apartments.
Israel Defense Forces released a statement saying the building was targeted because Hamas had intelligence offices there. But AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt is calling on the Israeli government to provide proof of that claim.
In a statement, Pruitt said that all the journalists and freelancers in the building made it out before the attack, but noted that the world will now “know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.”