Israel continued to bombard the Gaza Strip with air raids and artillery shells on Saturday, as it stepped up the deployment of troops and tanks near the besieged Palestinian enclave.
As of early Saturday, at least 137 Palestinians, including 36 children, have been killed and 920 have been wounded since hostilities flared up on Monday.
The death toll is expected to rise, as another series of Israeli air assaults hit the Shati refugee camp in Gaza killing at least two women, including six children, while burying several others in the rubble. Another air raid also reportedly hit a house in Khan Yunis.
Thousands of Palestinian families have taken shelter in United Nations-run schools in northern Gaza to escape Israeli artillery fire. The UN has said it estimates approximately 10,000 Palestinians have left their homes in Gaza amid the Israeli offensive.
Despite international calls for an immediate halt of all hostilities, including from United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged the offensive will continue “as needed to restore calm in the state of Israel”.
Hamas fired another barrage of rockets towards Israel, hitting the city of Ashdod early on Saturday.
At least nine people in Israel have also been killed. The Israeli army said hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in Israel and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.
Meanwhile, violence is brewing between Israeli settlers and Palestinian citizens in the occupied West Bank, as well as in Israel.
At least 11 Palestinians have also been killed by Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank._Al Jazeera
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