Even as the Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, warned Israel
against the continuation of its military operation in Gaza, saying
it will have to pay "a heavy price", Israel Friday intensified its
air strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip taking the death toll to
"The number of martyrs has risen to 30, with another 280 people
injured, with the death of Ayman Rafiq Selim from his injuries,"
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said late on
Friday, AFP reported.
Earlier on Friday evening, Qudra
said that one Palestinian was killed and two others injured in an
Israeli airstrike on a car in Gaza, shortly after Israeli attacks
killed four Gazans in the central district of Maghazi.
"One citizen was martyred and two others seriously injured in an
Israeli strike on a car in Deir al-Balah," he said.
"Three citizens were martyred in a strike in Maghazi camp and
their bodies were taken to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital," Qudra
stated, adding that a fourth man later succumbed to injuries he
received in the same airstrike.
Earlier on Friday, Palestinian
resistance fighters fired more rockets into Israel, some of them
targeting the Kerem Shalom kibbutz in southern Israel.
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip
has struck an uninhabited area outside of Jerusalem, causing no
damage or injuries, the Israeli army has said, shortly after air
raid sirens wailed across the city.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the rocket landed on
Friday in an open area near Gush Ezion, which includes several
Jewish settlements and Arab villages in the occupied West Bank
southeast of the city.
The unprecedented attack came as Israel pounded the Palestinian
Gaza Strip for a third day in fighting that has killed 28
Palestinians and three Israelis.
The armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement confirmed it had
fired a Qassam rocket towards Jerusalem.
An attack on Israel's self-declared capital marks a major
escalation by Gaza fighters, both for its symbolism and its
distance from the Palestinian territory.
Located roughly 75km away from the Gaza border, Jerusalem had been
thought to be beyond the range of Gaza rocket squads.
Fighters had already launched rockets at Tel Aviv, another first,
on Thursday and Friday.
The Israeli government on Friday night gave a green light to
recruit up to 75,000 reservists, a possible sign that Israel was
preparing for a ground offensive in Gaza.
The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. It
does not necessarily mean that all 75,000 will be called up,
In a scathing attack, Egyptian
President Mohamed Morsi warned Israel against the continuation of
its military operation in Gaza, saying it will have to pay "a
"Gaza will not remain alone as it was," he tweeted on his Twitter
page, according to the al-Masry al-Yaoum newspaper, adding that
that the aggressors "know they will pay a heavy price if they
continue their aggression."
"I don't want to take unusual steps, but if I see that the
homeland is in danger, I won't hesitate", he added.
"The blood spilled over there will not get the other side peace
and will serve as a curse on them. It will incite all the people
of the region against them."
"Egypt doesn't want to fight and constantly calls for peace, but
real peace is not just for one side at the expense of another
side, so that one side enjoys the good life while the others
suffer from attacks and ongoing killing," Morsi said.
Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime
minister, called Barack Obama, the US president, on Friday, with
the two men discussing options for "de-escalating" the situation,
the White House said.
Obama "reiterated US support for Israel's right to defend itself,
and expressed regret over the loss of Israeli and Palestinian
civilian lives," according to a US statement on the call.
The Israeli military frequently
carries out airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying
the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However,
disproportionate force is always used, in violation of
international law, and civilians are often killed or injured.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has
caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels
of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in
Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that
pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.