Prime Minister Yair Lapid says Israel's bombarding of Gaza "will continue as long as necessary" as violence escalated for a third day, with at least 31 Palestinians reported dead.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid has said Israel's strikes on Gaza will continue “as long as necessary.”
Lapid said in statements cited by the public broadcaster KAN on Sunday that the air strikes in Gaza are carried out in a "reasonable way to reduce to a minimum the harm to noncombatants."
However, at least 31 Palestinians were reported dead on Sunday, among them were six children, according to the Health Ministry.
The latest Israeli aggression since Friday also left at least 265 people wounded, said the health authorities in Gaza where several buildings were reduced to rubble.
Meanwhile, the United Nations' Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territories, Lynn Hastings, called for an immediate halt of escalation and violence in Gaza.
In a statement on Sunday, Hastings said Gaza's humanitarian situation "is already dire and can only worsen" with the current escalation.
“Hostilities must stop to avoid more deaths and injuries of civilians in Gaza and Israel,” she added.
The humanitarian coordinator reiterated the UN appeal to all sides "for an immediate de-escalation and halt to violence to avoid destructive ramifications, particularly for civilians."
Israeli attacks may last a week
Israel launched a military offensive in Gaza on Friday citing an "imminent threat of attack" by the Islamic Jihad group.
The violence came amid rising tensions across Palestinian territories since Monday, when Israeli forces detained Bassam al Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad, in a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Lapid said the killing of senior Islamic Jihad commander Khaled Mansour in an airstrike in Gaza on Saturday was a result of Israeli intelligence and operational effort.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said the Israeli army and Shin Bet internal security service will continue to act against the group until removing what he said threats on Israelis.
On Saturday, the Israeli army said its attacks on Gaza may last for a week.
The Israeli offensive has triggered retaliatory rocket fire from the group.