Mon, 21 Jun 2021

GAZA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Tension between Israel and militant groups in the Gaza Strip continued on Sunday for the seventh day in a row as death toll in the coastal enclave climbed to 181 and 1,225 others were injured, officials said.

The health ministry in Gaza said in a press statement that since Monday, 181 Palestinians have been killed, including 52 children and 31 women, and 1,225 others had different injuries.

Militant groups, led by the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), fired barrages of rockets from the Gaza Strip at cities and towns in central and southern Israel.

Israeli fighter jets intensified its airstrikes on buildings, military posts and facilities affiliated with the militants all over the strip, according to security sources.

The sources said that the houses of Hamas chief in the Gaza Strip Yehya Sinwar and his brother were destroyed in the intensive Israeli airstrikes waged on the southern city of Khan Younis, adding that no injuries were reported as the two houses had been evacuated.

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the health ministry in Gaza, said in a text message sent to reporters that during overnight and on Sunday morning, 23 Palestinians were killed and over 50 wounded in the airstrikes on Gaza.

An Israeli army spokesman said that in the last 24 hours, Israeli fighter jets struck 90 targets that belong to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, including the houses of Sinwar and his brother Mohammed.

The spokesman said that Gaza militants fired more than 120 rockets towards Israel, adding that the Iron Dome Air Defense System has intercepted most of them.

Palestinian sources said there are regional and international efforts to reach a humanitarian cease-fire between the two sides.

The sources told Xinhua that Egypt has been trying to pressure the two sides to declare a temporary humanitarian cease-fire to alleviate the suffering in Gaza until a permanent truce is reached.

The sources added that the Egyptian proposal "is under discussion by the Palestinian factions and will be on the table of Israeli cabinet for discussion on Sunday."

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