Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, medics said, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fighting between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza would continue despite international efforts to broker a cease fire.
In a televised address, Netanyahu said Sunday evening the attacks were continuing at "full-force" and will "take time."
The violence marked the worst fighting here since the devastating 2014 war in Gaza.
The airstrikes Sunday hit a busy downtown street of residential buildings and storefronts over the course of five minutes just after midnight, destroying two adjacent buildings and one about 50 yards (meters) down the road.
At one point, a rescuer shouted, "Can you hear me?" into a hole in the rubble. "Are you OK?" Minutes later, first responders pulled a survivor out and carried him off on an orange stretcher. The Gaza Health Ministry said 16 women and 10 children were among those killed, with more than 50 people wounded, and rescue efforts are still underway.
The latest outbreak of violence began in east Jerusalem last month, when Palestinian protests and clashes with police broke out in response to Israeli police tactics during Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. A focal point of clashes was the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a frequent flashpoint that is located on a hilltop compound that is revered by both Muslims and Jews.