Efforts to secure a ceasefire between Israel and the militant Hamas movement have intensified as the death toll in the 18-day-old conflict continues to climb.
More than 800 Palestinians have now been killed, as well as 34 Israelis.
Gaza faced more Israeli shelling and air strikes overnight, while Israeli towns raised the alarm over Hamas rockets Friday morning.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to discuss with Israel’s security cabinet.
In the latest incident to incite tensions, a shelling of an United Nations-run school shelter on Thursday left at least 15 people dead.
The deaths prompted outrage from Palestinians and from the UN, with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling it “totally unacceptable”.
Meanwhile, Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, has announced it shelled Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport with three rockets, the second attack in a week on the Israel’s main international airport.
An Israeli military spokesperson confirmed that rockets were fired towards the airport from the Gaza Strip today.
Israel has gotten a partial reprieve from the economic pain of its war with Gaza on Thursday with the lifting of a U.S. ban on commercial flights to Tel Aviv, as fighting pushed the Palestinian death toll over 700.
Signs of a truce coming into place have remained elusive despite intensive mediation bids.
Israel says it needs more time to eradicate cross-border tunnels used by Hamas for attacks, while the Palestinian Islamists demand the blockade on the Gaza Strip be lifted.
With encouragement from the White House, Egypt has been trying to mediate a limited humanitarian ceasefire ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival, which follows the end of fasting in the month of Ramadhan.
No fewer than 15 people have been reportedly killed and 200 injured as an Israeli shells hit a United Nations (UN) school in northern Gaza that was being used as an emergency shelter.
The Gaza health minitry later said that 15 were confirmed dead, and 200 injured.
The AFP reported a UN official as confirming “multiple dead and injured”.
Israel has attacked UN schools before, saying that they were safe havens for the armed Palestinians.
The UN has criticised the Palestinian groups various times for using UN schools to hide fighters and weapons.
A witness who arrived at the Kamal Adwan hospital after the attack told Al Jazeera news agency that they were sitting in the school, because they were told it was safe.
“By God, there was not a single fighter, not a single shot was fired from the school. Why did they shoot at the school? Why? Can someone explain that to me? Why would they shell the school?”
Israel has said it shot down a drone from Gaza a week into its offensive on Monday, the first reported deployment of an unmanned aircraft by Palestinian militants whose rocket attacks have been regularly intercepted.
Hamas, the Islamist group which runs Gaza, said its armed wing had sent several drones to carry out “special missions” deep inside Israel.
Casualty figures put the number the number of killed Palestinians at more than 166, most of them civilians, in seven days of fighting that has shown no sign of ending.
Israeli aircraft and naval gunboats attacked 204 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, said the army, in the worst flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence in almost two years. Health officials said at least 20 people were wounded.
A U.N. aid agency said around a quarter of Beit Lahiya’s 70,000 residents have fled deeper into the Gaza Strip. Al-Mezan, a Gaza-based Palestinian human rights group, said 869 Palestinian homes have been destroyed or damaged in Israeli attacks over
Israel military plans to demolish Palestinian homes (npr)
The Israeli military is planning to demolish dozens of houses belonging to Palestinians in the West Bank.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that residences of several leaders of the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas are among the houses set to be razed.
The latest demolition plan is regarded as part of Tel Aviv’s crackdown on the Palestinian resistance movement.
Only this Wednesday, Israel destroyed the house of a Palestinian man identified as Ziad Awad accused of murdering an off-duty policeman.
In February, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Israel has demolished 390 Palestinian homes in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley in 2013, which resulted in the displacement of nearly 600 Palestinians. It noted that the numbers doubled in comparison with the year before.
Israel stepped up attacks on the Palestinians as part of a military search operation for three Israelis that had disappeared on June 12.
The Israeli regime claims the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas is responsible for the deaths. Hamas however has rejected the allegation.
Israel has promised retribution against Hamas, the militant Palestinian group it accuses of the kidnap and murder of three teenagers.
The bodies Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were found Monday evening, under a pile of rocks near the town of Halhul after they had been missing for more than two weeks.
Israel’s Prime minster Benyamin Netanyahu said Hamas was responsible and will pay.
Hamas however denies any involvement.
In response, Israel launched more than 30 air strikes on the Gaza Strip overnight.
An Israeli official said it appeared the teenagers were shot soon after their abduction.
Israel named two suspects as Ayoub al-Kawasma and Abu Aisheh. The Israeli military said it set off explosives while raiding the homes of both.