(CNN)Israel bombed the house of Hamas’ Gaza leader and obliterated a family’s home in Gaza as Hamas launched more than 100 rockets towards Israel on Sunday, marking the deadliest day of the week-long conflict so far, according to data from the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza and Israeli authorities.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had bombed the house of Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ leader since 2017, in southern Gaza’s Khan Yunis neighborhood early Sunday morning. IDF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman told local media that Sinwar had been unhurt in the airstrike.
Two Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed at least 43 Palestinians — including eight children — and injured 50 others, most of whom were women and children early Sunday, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Palestinian medical and civil defense teams said they rescued five children from the rubble on Sunday morning. Scenes of the rescue operation show a young girl with a bloodied head injury lifted from the wreckage by a team of paramedics. Her expression alternates between shock and horror.
Palestinian paramedics evacuate a girl from the rubble of a building that was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza’s al-Rimal residential district on May 16.
The IDF said in a Twitter post on Sunday morning that Hamas’ militant wing had fired 120 rockets between 7 p.m Saturday and 7 a.m. local time Sunday, of which 11 fell in Gaza. IDF spokesperson Zilberman added Sunday that they had targeted dozens of rocket launchers, with the ability to fire multiple rockets at a time.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a Tweet on Saturday that “Israel has no interest in escalation, but is ready for any scenario,” echoing an Israeli military official, who said on Friday that Israel is prepared to continue hitting “quality targets” for an “extended period of time.” The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underscored that resolve on Saturday, saying it will “respond forcefully” in Gaza “until the security of our people is reinstated and restored,” and said the country is trying to avoid civilian casualties from its strikes.
But civilian deaths continue to rise. With the latest casualties, the death toll in Gaza has climbed to a total of 188, including at least 55 children and 31 women, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Since the beginning of the airstrikes on Gaza this week, at least 1,225 have been injured, with the number expected to rise, it said, as paramedics continue to carry out search operations.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday released photos allegedly showing Hamas rocket installations and tunnel entrances placed in close proximity to civilian infrastructure like hospitals and schools, claiming that “Hamas deliberately and systematically places military targets within the civilian population, exposing their citizens to danger.”
The recent conflict began at the start of last week, fueled by controversy over planned evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and restrictions at a popular meeting point near the Old City. It has since escalated rapidly into one of the worst rounds of violence the area has seen since the 2014 Gaza War, which saw more than 2,200 Gazans killed during the fighting, approximately half of them civilians, including more than 550 children, according to a United Nations report.
In the background, the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts rockets fired by Hamas toward southern Israel from Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza, on May 16.
Rioting and violent clashes between Arab and Jewish citizens have also spilled out across several Israeli cities the week, including Lod, Bat Yam and Acre, leading Netanyahu to warn against “lynching” by either community. And that violence has boiled over to the occupied West Bank, where on Friday, at least 11 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during violent clashes, marking the largest number of people killed in a single day in the West Bank in years, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry.