Dozens of Palestinians were killed in Gaza on Saturday in air strikes by Israel, Palestinian media said, after the U.S. urged Israel to scale down its military campaign and narrowly target Hamas leaders.
At least 14 people died from strikes that hit two houses on Old Gaza Street in Jabalia, and dozens were killed in a strike that hit another home in Jabalia, the official WAFA news agency said.
The Palestinian agency reported a large number of civilians were trapped under rubble.
The Israeli military said its forces killed militants holed up in two schools in Gaza City and raided apartments in Khan Younis stocked with weapons, and uncovered what it described as undergound infrastructure used by Hamas.
US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, who visited Israel on Thursday and Friday, carried a message to Israel to scale down the broad military campaign and transition to more narrowly targeted operations against Hamas leaders, US officials said.
During Sullivan’s visit, Israeli officials publicly emphasised that they would continue the war until they achieve their aim of eradicating Hamas, which may take months.
Washington hinted on Friday at disagreement with Israel over how quickly to scale down the war, with Sullivan saying the timing was the subject of “intensive discussion” between the allies.
In a surprise cross-border attack on Israel on Oct. 7, Hamas militants rampaged through Israeli towns killing 1,200 people and capturing 240 hostages. Israel’s counterattack has killed close to 19,000 people, according to Gaza health authorities, with thousands more feared buried under rubble.