Palestinians grabbed their children and belongings and fled neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Gaza City on Friday as Israel unleashed a heavy barrage of artillery fire and airstrikes, killing a family of six in their home. Israel said it was clearing a network of militant tunnels ahead of a possible ground invasion.
Israel has massed troops along the border and called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has launched more than 600 airstrikes, toppling at least three high-rise apartment buildings, and has shelled some areas with tanks stationed near the frontier.
The Gaza Health Ministry said the toll from the fighting has risen to 119 killed, including 31 children and 19 women, with 830 wounded. Palestinians living outside Gaza City, near the northern and eastern frontiers with Israel, fled the intense artillery bombardment on Friday. Families arrived at the UN-run schools in the city in pick-up trucks, on donkeys and by foot, hauling pillows and pans, blankets and bread.
Header image: Palestinians assess the damage caused by Israeli air strikes, in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, May 14, 2021. — AFP