Israeli strikes kill 6 in Gaza; rockets fired from Lebanon

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People inspect the rubble of destroyed the Abu Hussein building that was hit by an Israeli airstrike early morning, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

GAZA CITY, PALESTINOW.COM— Israeli airstrikes killed at least six people across the Gaza Strip and destroyed the home of an extended family early Wednesday. The military said it widened its strikes in the Palestinian territory’s south to blunt continuing rocket fire from Hamas, while a separate barrage also came from Lebanon.

For the third time since the war began, rockets were launched Israel from the north. The Israeli military said one landed in an open area, two landed in the sea, and one was intercepted by aerial defenses. Lebanese security officials said the latest rockets were launched from the outskirts of the southern Lebanese village of Qlayleh, adding that four fell inside Lebanese territory. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

In southern Gaza, meanwhile, residents surveyed the piles of bricks, concrete and other debris that had once been the home of 40 members of al-Astal family. They said a warning missile struck the building in the town of Khan Younis five minutes before the airstrike, allowing everyone to escape.

Ahmed al-Astal, a university professor, described a scene of panic before the airstrike hit, with men, women and children racing out of the building. Some of the women didn’t even have time to cover their hair with Muslim headscarves, he said.

“We had just gotten down to the street, breathless, when the devastating bombardment came,” he said. “They left nothing but destruction, the children’s cries filling the street. … This is happening, and there is no one to help us. We ask God to help us.”

The Israeli military said it struck a militant tunnel network around the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, with 52 aircraft hitting 40 underground targets. Gaza’s Health Ministry said a woman was killed and eight people were wounded in those strikes.

Hamas-run Al-Aqsa radio said one of its reporters was killed in an airstrike in Gaza City. Among the six killed Wednesday were also two people who died when warning missiles crashed into their apartment.

Source: AP

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