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Conflict Spirals Across Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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JERUSALEM — Fighting between Israelis and Palestinians spiraled across several fronts on Saturday as Israel destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza housing the offices of two major international media outlets, Hamas militants in Gaza fired more rocket barrages toward the Tel Aviv area and protests broke out again in the occupied West Bank.

An American envoy, Hady Amr, landed in Israel for two days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, joining efforts led by Egyptian, Qatari and United Nations officials to secure a cease-fire.

But as of early Saturday evening, those efforts showed no sign of success: The fighting is the most intense since 2014 and has taken on a rare complexity because of its spread across the entirety of Israel and the occupied territories.

An early morning Israeli airstrike in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza killed at least 10 members of the same extended family, eight of them children, according to Palestinian officials and local news reports.

Hundreds of thousands of Gaza residents are descended from Palestinians who fled their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and their towns are still known as refugee camps, even though they now resemble small suburbs.

Mohammed al-Hadidi, the father of three of the slain children, said his family had gone to the camp to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an Islamic festival. His wife, her brother’s four children and her sister-in-law were also among those killed, and only a five-month-old baby boy, Omar, was pulled from the rubble alive.

The Israeli Army said it had “attacked a number of Hamas terror organization senior officials, in an apartment used as terror infrastructure in the area of the al-Shati refugee camp,” but did not release more information. The Palestinian militant group Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

By the afternoon, the Israeli Air Force had also destroyed a well-known tower in Gaza City which houses the local offices of The Associated Press, the American news service, and Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based television network.

The Israeli Army first sent a warning to its tenants, allowing it to be evacuated, and again said it housed militant infrastructure. The Associated Press described the attack as “an incredibly disturbing development,” adding: “We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life. A dozen A.P. journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to evacuate them in time.”

The attack came just days after the home of an A.P. correspondent in Gaza, Fares Akram, was also bombed.

Gary Pruitt, the A.P.’s chief executive, said he was “shocked and horrified” by the building’s destruction.

On Saturday, a White House spokeswoman, Jennifer Psaki, said on Twitter that the United States had “communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.”

Hamas and its allies in Gaza returned fire with a barrage of rockets across central Israel, sending sunbathers sprinting from the beaches of Tel Aviv toward bomb shelters.

Most of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, an antimissile defense system partly financed by the United States. But at least one landed in Ramat Gan, a Tel Aviv suburb, killing one person, Israeli media reported. And it brought the Israeli death toll since Monday to 10. Another fell near an Ikea store south of Tel Aviv, but left no injuries.

At least 139 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed since the war began on Monday, according to Palestinian officials. Ten Israelis have also been killed.

There were renewed clashes overnight on Friday between Arab and Jewish citizens in Israeli cities. Two Palestinian citizens of Israel were hurt in a firebomb attack on their home in Jaffa, a mixed Arab-Jewish city that was at the heart of Arab life in the Middle East before most of its Arab residents fled to Gaza and other parts of the region in 1948.

For Palestinians, the attack, and the situation in general, had particular resonance on Saturday: It was Nakba Day, an annual commemoration of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in 1948. In Ramallah, the administrative hub of the occupied West Bank, a siren sounded for 73 seconds to mark the 73 years since the dispersal.

Demonstrations and subsequent clashes broke out again in the West Bank, illustrating how widespread the fighting has become since Hamas fired its first rockets shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday.

A Palestinian militant group in Lebanon also fired rockets toward Israel this week, while protesters from Lebanon also briefly entered northern Israel, prompting the Israeli Army to fire on them.

Crowds of Jordanian citizens, many of them of Palestinian descent, have also gathered at the Israeli border to protest the strikes on Gaza.



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