ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu says his country’s Gaza offensive would continue as long as necessary, a day after an Egyptian call for a ceasefire and new truce talks.
Israeli air strikes killed eight Palestinians in the enclave on Sunday and Gaza militants kept up rocket fire into Israel.
“Operation Protective Edge will continue until its aims are achieved… it may take time,” he said of the offensive launched on July 8.
Israel carried out 27 strikes and 50 rockets were fired from Gaza, 47 of which hit the Jewish state, an army spokeswoman said.
The Israeli ambulance service said that three people were wounded by Palestinian fire at the Erez crossing point between Israel and Gaza, at least one of them seriously.
Police said they were all Arab public transport drivers waiting in the crossing’s car park, two of them Bedouin from the southern Israeli town of Rahat and one a Palestinian from Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.
The new bloodshed came after Israel pounded Gza with at least 60 strikes on Saturday, killing 10 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and bringing down a 12-storey apartment block.
There was still no sign of either side adopting the ceasefire Egypt appealed for on Saturday to allow negotiators to return to Cairo to thrash out the details of a durable truce.
Since a previous round of frantic Egyptian diplomacy collapsed on Tuesday, shattering nine days of calm, 88 Palestinians and a four-year-old Israeli boy have been killed in the violence.
At a special cabinet session at the defence ministry in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu repeated his warning of harsh retribution for the death of the Israeli child on Friday in a rocket strike on a kibbutz near the Gaza border.
PM warns Lebanon, Syria
“Hamas is paying, and will continue to pay, a heavy price for the crimes it carries out,” he said.
“I call on residents of Gaza to immediately leave any structure from which Hamas carries out terror activity against us. All such sites are a target for us.”
At the funeral of Daniel Tragerman on Sunday, his mother Gila said she had seen the lively child as a future leader who could have brought peace.
“You are the love of my life, a perfect child, every mother and father’s dream,” she said.
Netanyahu also added a veiled warning to neighbouring Lebanon and Syria after overnight rocket fire into Israel.