Israel says it destroyed miles of tunnels in Gaza

Israel says it destroyed miles of tunnels in Gaza
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The Israeli military on Monday said it had destroyed 9 miles of tunnels in its most recent barrage of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and leveled the homes of nine Hamas commanders.

The Associated Press reports that information regarding casualties was not immediately available after the airstrikes. A three-story building was severely damaged, but residents were reportedly warned by the military beforehand and were able to evacuate before they were struck.

“If the aggression continues we expect conditions to become worse,” Gaza City Mayor Yahya Sarraj told Al-Jazeera TV, according to the AP.

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Nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in the airstrikes, including 59 children and 35 women. Israeli officials say 10 people have been killed, including two children, amid escalating violence in the region.  

“I have not seen this level of destruction through my 14 years of work,” emergency rescue official Samir al-Khatib told the AP. “Not even in the 2014 war."

Despite destroying the homes of Hamas commanders, the AP notes that the organization's leadership went underground when fighting broke out last week and were unlikely to be home at the time of the strikes. When the airstrikes were first reported, accounts on social media alleged that critical pieces of infrastructure such as roads were also being targeted.

During an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE told host John Dickerson that his country's military was choosing targets that would "degrade" Hamas's military capabilities.

“I think any country has to defend itself and has a natural right of self-defense. We'll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet, and on the security of our people in deterrence. We're trying to degrade Hamas’s terrorist abilities, and to degrade their will to do this again,” Netanyahu said.