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The Israeli Prime Minister claims to have killed more than 150 terrorists – including senior Hamas commanders – during dozens of strikes carried out over recent days. But observers say that many of the victims have been innocent children.
Today the Palestinian death toll climbed to 212 – including 61 children.
The escalating tensions, and Israel’s ability to massively outgun Palestinian militants, has led to increasingly loud calls for a ceasefire over fears that civilian casualty numbers will continue to rise.
US president Joe Biden waded into the mix yesterday – issuing his strongest words yet on the volatile region’s decades-old conflict.
The Democrat “encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians” and “expressed his support for a ceasefire” during a phone call with his Israeli counterpart.
But, Mr Netanyahu’s reaction quickly made it clear that he hadn’t heeded the US president’s pleas.
He vowed that his country will “continue striking at the terrorist targets”.
Israel’s Defence Forces (IDF) say that 120 Hamas militants have been killed and another 25 are members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
It comes after the IDF said that they had fired more than 3,000 rockets from Gaza at Israel over recent days.
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Around 90 percent of these were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system.
But more than 200 made it through – killing 10 Israeli civilians, including a child.
These attacks came after Hamas waded into ongoing tensions between Muslims and Jews in East Jerusalem.
They have been boiling during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – and exploded when four Arab families were evicted from their homes in a decades-long dispute.
Hamas later said that Israel would “pay a heavy price” if it evicted Palestinian residents from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood Sheikh Jarrah.
Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas’s military wing, said he was issuing a “clear, final warning” that it would “not stand by helplessly”.
But with its limited firepower, the Palestinian militant group has suffered much heavier losses during the latest engagements.
The organisation has also lost several of its senior commanders, weapons caches and tunnels during Israel’s unrelenting bombardment.
And, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would continue using the country’s “full force”, it appears their political gamble may have backfired.
Mr Netanyahu previously said his country “wants to level a heavy price” for the rocket attacks.
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