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Israeli military unleashes another heavy wave of airstrikes on Gaza Strip Updated: 2021-05-18 13:31:52 KST

The Israeli military unleashed another heavy wave of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip Monday, saying that it was targeting a tunnel network used by Hamas.
The Israel Defense Forces estimated that it had destroyed about 100 kilometers of underground passageways that it says are used to move weapons and fighters across Gaza.
Israel's Prime Minister says the country will continue with its attacks against Hamas.

"Today, a senior Islamic Jihad commander was targeted. We struck at the Hamas naval unit and we are continuing to strike at underground targets - Hamas' metro - and there are other targets. We will continue to operate as necessary in order to return calm and security to all residents of Israel."

With the two sides continuing to trade fire for over a week, the overall death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 2-hundred, with over 13-hundred others wounded, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Israel has reported 10 Israelis have died from rockets that have been fired from Gaza toward the country.
The violence continues despite calls from the international community to cease hostilities.
The leaders of Egypt and France shared strong concerns regarding the escalation of violence in the region, underscoring the absolute need to end the atrocities.

"So, for me, it comes within the scope of a process of a cease-fire as soon as possible - what we, of course, call for - and the building of a possible path towards talks between the various parties involved."

On Sunday, Iran's top diplomat met with Pope Francis, who appealed for calm and global help to open a path of dialogue in the Middle East.
Pope Francis stressed that the deaths of children in the latest surge of attacks was (quote) "destroying the future."
Turkish President also asked Pope Francis to support sanctions against Israel, in a phone call, urging the pontiff to continue to speak out against the violence.
All this comes as Washington is using (quote) "quiet and intensive diplomacy" to try and halt the escalating conflict between the two sides.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.
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