Israel and Gaza trade fresh fire

By BBC

A man reacts as a fire burns in Gaza City after a reported Israeli tank attack on Saturday

Palestinian deaths are continuing to mount as Israel and militants in Gaza traded fresh rounds of rocket and missile-fire on Saturday.

At least 127 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its operation five days ago, Palestinian sources say.

The UN says three-quarters of those are civilian deaths.

Israel says it was hit by 34 rockets, also on Saturday, causing damage. It has vowed to press on with its offensive until rocket attacks stop.

Israel says it is targeting militants and militant facilities, including the homes of senior operatives. It says “dozens of terrorists” are among those killed.

In the latest violence

  • An Israeli air strike killed six unidentified men in the Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza City on Saturday, Palestinian medics said
  • A large fire broke out in a UN humanitarian relief compound in the east of Gaza City. Israel said it was caused by Hamas rockets falling short, though this has not been confirmed
  • Israel hit a residential home for disabled people in Beit Lahiya overnight, Palestinian officials said. Two female residents were killed and four other people seriously injured, they said. Israel did not comment
  • Two people were killed in the north of Gaza City, and three other people, including an Islamic Jihad activist, died when a house in Jabaliya refugee camp was hit, according to the Palestinian health ministry
  • At least one mosque in the central Gaza Strip was bombed overnight, according to Hamas, which said it was the first attack of its kind since Israel began its offensive. Israel’s military said the building had been used to store weapons
  • Israeli forces said they had destroyed two missiles launched by militants in flight on Saturday. Hamas said it had fired four rockets at the Israeli city of Ashdod

There is no sign of both sides agreeing on a ceasefire, despite intense diplomacy at the United Nations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that his country will resist foreign pressure to halt its operations.

“The objective is to restore quiet to the cities of Israel, and I intend to achieve this objective,” he said.

Thousands of Israeli troops have massed along the border with Gaza amid warnings by Israel that it is prepared to launch a ground offensive.