Israeli jets bombed the Gaza Strip for the fourth day killing 13 Palestinians on Saturday, taking the death toll to 105, as the Jewish state was targeted by rocket attacks from Lebanon for the first time since the military offensive began.
Thirteen Palestinians, including a woman and seven-year-old child, were killed as Israeli jets pounded targets in Gaza, escalating the conflict in which more than 500 people have been injured.
Saturday’s deaths have brought the overall death toll to 105, medics said.
Even as the casualty in Gaza has been heavy, so far, no one in Israel has been killed, and less than a dozen people hurt, two of them seriously, medics said.
US President Barack Obama telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as diplomatic efforts to end hostilities between Israel and Hamas militants gathered momentum.
“The United States remains prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities,” the White House said. Netanyahu, however, said he would not end his campaign until his goal of stopping the Hamas attacks was achieved.
“No international pressure will prevent us from striking the terrorists who are attacking us,” he told a news conference in Tel Aviv.
“I had a very good conversation with President Obama and other leaders,” he said. “All of these leaders understand the need to act.”
Over 300 homes have been totally destroyed or severely damaged and around 2,000 Gazans have been made homeless, Palestinian media reported.
A rocket fired from Lebanon struck a gas station near Israel’s northern border, the Israeli military said. Lebanon’s state-run news agency said two rockets were fired from the country.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the strikes, which prompted Israel to retaliate with artillery fire toward the source of the firing. Israel military spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said it was unclear whether the new front was “symbolic or something more substantial.”
Meanwhile, Hamas has warned airlines that it intends to target Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport with its rockets from Gaza and has told them not to fly there.
“In the light of Israel’s … attacks on the residents of Gaza Strip … The armed wing of Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben-Gurion airport, which will be one of our targets today because it also hosts a military air base,” the Jerusalem Post quoted Hamas’ statement as saying.