In the aftermath of an early morning aerial and naval assault on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for an immediate end to the Israeli offensive in the area.
The strikes are part of a campaign called ‘Operation Protective Edge’, designed to seek out suspected Hamas militants who had been firing rockets into southern Israel.
People were reportedly warned to evacuate some buildings in Gaza prior to the attack.
Local resident Salim Slimi was among them:
“We received a call from the army,” he said. “They asked us to leave our house. Then they attacked out house, ten minutes after we had been evacuated. The house is totally destroyed,” he said.
At least 15 people are thought to have been injured.
The Israeli military said it targeted some 50 sites, more than 30 of which were bombed in a little over an hour just before dawn according to Palestinian officials.
Hamas activists are believed to have launched a number of rockets into Israel on Monday. There were no reports of casualties.
Tensions have been rising in the region since the recent kidnap and killing of three Jewish boys and the subsequent murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy.
In anticipation of an escalation in hostilities, Israel has called up 1,500 reservists.