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Israeli forces kill four Palestinians, fighter jets continue to bomb Gaza

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, Palestine: Israeli fighter jets continued to bomb the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Wednesday, flattening residential buildings and killing at least four Palestinians, including a journalist.

The latest raids came as Palestinian groups launched more rockets towards cities in southern Israel. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Earlier, Israeli forces shot dead four other Palestinians and wounded scores more during protests and a historic general strike in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The strike was called in support of Palestinians under Israeli bombardment in Gaza.

At least 220 Palestinians, including 63 children, have been killed in Gaza since the latest violence flared on May 10. About 1,500 Palestinians have been wounded.

Twelve people in Israel have died, including two children, while at least 300 Israelis have been wounded.

Despite the escalating violence – now in its tenth day – diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers have failed to make much headway.

The United States continued to block the UN Security Council from issuing a joint statement urging an end to the hostilities, telling diplomats that a public statement would not help calm the tensions.

France, however, says it is working with Israel’s neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, on a new ceasefire resolution.

Chile’s Palestinian community – the largest outside the Middle East, with more than 300,000 people – staged a protest in Santiago on Tuesday, denouncing Israel’s deadly air attacks against Gaza.

More than 1,000 people met at the Club Palestino football headquarters in eastern Santiago.

Maurice Khamis, president of the Palestinian Community of Chile, said the protesters wanted to add “to the demonstrations that have taken place around the world… and also to support the hundreds of Palestinian civilian victims who have died in these Israeli attacks and bombings”.

The Israeli military dropped 122 bombs on Gaza during a 25-minute period on Tuesday night, the Times of Israel reported.

The raids, which began at 10:00 pm local time, targeted an underground Hamas tunnel network in Gaza, the website said, quoting military spokesman, Hidai Zilberman.

A fourth Palestinian was killed in Israel’s continuing raids on Gaza Strip, according to local media.

Yusef Abu Hussein was a journalist at the radio station, al-Aqsa Voice, according to the Wafa news agency and the Shehab news agency.

Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, called on the international community to ensure adequate funding for the global body’s humanitarian operations in Gaza.

“We are seeing immense human suffering and extensive damage to homes and vital infrastructure in Gaza,” he said in a tweet.

Earlier, the UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock called on Israel to provide “unimpeded humanitarian access” to Gaza.

“The crossings with Gaza need to be opened and to remain as such for the entrance of essential and humanitarian supplies, including fuel for basic services and supplies to curb the spread of Covid-19,” he said in a statement.

Hundreds of protesters gathered across the street from the Israeli consulate in the US city of New York, denouncing Israel’s continuing attacks on Gaza.

Rallies in support of Palestine were also held in Boston and Los Angeles.