Middle East Unrest

Gaza Mosques, Sports Complex, Fishing Boats Bombed by Israel

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel bombed five mosques, a sports complex and the home of the late Hamas military chief overnight as John Kerry began an intensive effort to end more than two weeks of fighting that has killed at least 570 Palestinians and 27 Israelis soldiers and two civilians. The airstrikes set off huge explosions that turned the night sky over Gaza City orange early Tuesday. The sound of the blasts mixed with the thud of shelling, often just seconds apart, and the pre-dawn call to prayer from mosque loudspeakers.

Israeli aircraft hit more than 70 targets, according to Gaza police spokesman Ayman Batniji. There were no casualties in the mosques or at the sports complex, which includes a gym, three martial arts studios and a soccer field. At least 19 fishing boats were burned by Israeli navy shells fired from the Mediterranean Sea, Batniji added. Six upper floors of a Gaza high-rise collapsed onto the two lower stories, buckling them into rubble. The U.N. has said that the majority of the Palestinians killed were civilians, among them dozens of children. The strikes came as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State John Kerry met in Cairo late Monday to launch the highest-level push yet to end the deadly conflict.





- The Associated Press