Israeli forces have targeted 780 “Hamas targets” within Gaza since the beginning of Operation Defensive Edge, which has left at least 100 Palestinians dead and 675 people injured.
Israel says that dozens of Hamas militants are among the dead, but the Palestinian health ministry contends that many of those killed or injured are civilians, including women and children.
Overnight, Israel continued its air strikes on missile launch sites and the suspected homes of Hamas members.
Israeli officials described the deaths of eight members of the same family, including six children, in the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis on Tuesday a “tragic mistake”. The strike targeted the home of Hamas military commander Odeh Kaware, but Israel admits the deaths of his family members was a mistake.
Hamas militants continued to shoot rockets deep into Israel, with the Iron Dome defensive system intercepting one missile over Tel Aviv. Three Israelis were also injured, one seriously, when a rocket struck a petrol station in Ashdod early on Friday morning.
The US has offered help in negotiating a ceasefire in an attempt to stop the escalation towards a ground invasion, but Secretary of State John Kerry is not expected to personally visit the region just two months after the latest round of talks between the two sides broke down.
Egypt and Turkey have condemned Israel’s “excessive” use of force, but the Sisi-led government in Cairo does not have the same negotiating power with Hamas that helped former President Mohammed Morsi de-escalate the hostilities in 2012.