The military operation against Hamas intensified on Thursday as Israel’s bombing of Gaza entered a third day.
While Israeli tanks and artillery continue to police the border, Palestinian officials said up to 20 people were killed in overnight raids, bringing the total death toll to more than 80 – the majority of the dead are thought to be civilians.
Israel’s military said it had attacked more than 100 targets since midnight in response to rocket attacks against Israel, claiming militant fighters linked to Hamas and their facilities had been fired upon.
Inside Gaza several buildings across the territory bore heavy damage. Earlier Islamic Jihad issued a statement saying three of its members had been killed in their car after being targeted in an air strike.
Elsewhere in the south of Gaza eight members of the same family – including five children were reportedly killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Palestinian officials claim no warning was given.
A UN Security Council meeting is set for later today to discuss the escalating crisis.
United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has warned the situation is on a ‘‘knife edge’‘.