Hady Amr, the US envoy for Israel-Palestine affairs, is scheduled to meet separately with officials from both sides hours after Israel launched the deadliest single attack on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
At least ten people were killed early Saturday in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, as the Jewish-majority state stepped up its offensive in the area. The eight children and two women killed were members of a single family.
The attack, which prompted renewed rocket fire from Hamas militants, occurred just hours after senior US State Department official Hady Amr arrived in Tel Aviv in an effort to defuse tensions.
On Saturday, he was scheduled to meet with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem before traveling to the occupied West Bank to meet with Palestinian officials.
Additional violence was anticipated on Saturday as Palestinians celebrate Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, commemorating the estimated 700,000 people who fled or were forced from their homes following Israel’s establishment in 1948.
How the most recent night of abuse transpired
Israel’s bombardment of the blockaded Palestinian territories and rocket fire from Gaza continued through early Saturday, including an Israeli airstrike on a three-story house in a Gaza City refugee camp.
Eight children and two women were murdered as part of an extended family.
Mohammed al-Hadidi told reporters that his wife and five children had traveled to Saudi Arabia to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with relatives.
She and three of the children, ranging in age from six to fourteen, were killed, while an eleven-year-old remains missing. Only his 5-month-old son Omar has been identified as a survivor.
Al-Hadidi said outside Shifa hospital in Gaza City that he wished for “the unjust world to see these crimes.”
Hamas said it responded to the airstrike by firing a salvo of rockets at southern Israel.
Israel’s military said that between 7 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday, Palestinian terrorists launched approximately 200 missiles, with over 100 being intercepted by air defenses.
At least 136 people have been killed and 950 others injured in Gaza since hostilities began on Monday, including 34 children and 21 women, Palestinian medics said. In Israel, eight people have died.
West Bank violence spreads
On Friday, Palestinians clashed with security forces in the occupied West Bank, as Israel and Hamas exchanged fire in Gaza.
Palestinians have taken to the streets in major West Bank cities such as Hebron and Nablus to demonstrate their outrage over Israel’s recent actions in Jerusalem and Gaza.
At least 11 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with security forces in the West Bank.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority’s chief, denounced what he called “brutal and programmed killings” and appealed to the United States and the United Nations for political support.
Additionally, as of early Saturday, the Palestine Red Crescent recorded 1,757 injuries in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Israeli police said that at least nine people were injured in the West Bank during an operation to apprehend individuals suspected of causing abuse.
Israeli Shin Bet security agents dealt with stones and gunshots in Kafr Kanna following the arrest of Islamic Movement deputy leader Kamal Khatib.
What will the visit of the US envoy accomplish?
Hady Amr, the United States’ Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israel-Palestine Affairs, was scheduled to meet with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem on Saturday before traveling to the occupied West Bank for talks with Palestinian officials.
He wishes to foster “sustainable calm,” according to State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter.
Washington has been chastised for failing to do enough to halt the escalating violence following its Friday blockade of a UN Security Council meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Sunday.
Israel rejected an Egyptian plan for a one-year cease-fire that had been approved by Hamas’s rulers, an Egyptian official said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.