Israel escalates airstrike on Gaza

World Today

Smoke billows from buildings following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City

Israel has escalated its aerial assault in Gaza, hitting more than 300 Hamas targets Thursday. Officials say at least 86 Palestinians have been killed since the offensive intensified three days ago.

Palestinian militants continued to fire hundreds of rockets deep into Israel, but no casualties have been reported there. CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Tel Aviv.

Israel escalates airstrikes on Gaza

Israel escalates airstrikes on Gaza

Israel has escalated its aerial assault in Gaza hitting more than 300 Hamas targets Thursday. Officials in Gaza say the death toll now stands at more than 75 since the offensive intensified three days ago. Meanwhile, Palestinian militants continued to fire hundreds of rockets deep into Israel, but no casualties have been reported there. CCTV's Roee Ruttenberg reports live from Tel Aviv.
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The injured seem to have become in a familiar scene in Gaza. They are rushed to the hospital, while more dead are added to a growing count. Among them, Palestinian officials say, eight members of a single family were killed in a strike on two homes in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

Israel blames its sworn Islamist enemy in Gaza, Hamas, for the loss of civilians.

Israel blames loss of civilians on Hamas

Israel blames loss of civilians on Hamas

Hamas says it has escalated its attacks on Israel, by air and sea, in response to Israel's offensive on Gaza, and its ongoing occupation in the Palestinian West Bank. CCTV's Roee Ruttenberg reports from Tel Aviv.
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Hamas says it has escalated its attacks on Israel by both air and sea in response to Israel’s offensive on Gaza, and its ongoing occupation in the Palestinian West Bank.

The escalation has gained international attention. For now, Washington appears to be backing Israel’s right, as American officials say, to strike back at those who are firing at it. However, leaders from the European Union and the United Nations were calling for restraint from both sides.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for an urgent meeting with the UN’s Security Council.

The Secretary General has already asked Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to mediate between the two sides, a role Egyptian presidents have played in the past. As recently as November 2012, Cairo helped broker a ceasefire.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the U.S. was willing to help negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

At the UN Thursday Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour appealed to the council “to stop the bleeding” and revive the Palestinians’ “dying hopes” for an end to the conflict. Israel maintains its position that “calm will be met with calm.”