GAZA: Israel attacked the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group's positions in the Gaza Strip and continued for a third day Sunday, with 31 Palestinians reported dead and militants firing their first rockets at Jerusalem.
Six children were among those killed in the latest "Israeli aggression" since Friday, and 265 people have been wounded, said health authorities in the enclave where several buildings were reduced to rubble.
The fighting is the worst in Gaza since a war last year devastated the impoverished coastal territory, home to some 2.3 million Palestinians.
Israel pressed on with its aerial and artillery bombardment of positions of Islamic Jihad as the group fired over rockets in return.
The Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid vowed Sunday that "the operation will continue as long as necessary".
In Gaza, 31 people had died since the start of Israel's "Operation Breaking Dawn".
It was not immediately clear how many children were killed there, but an AFP photographer saw six dead bodies at the local hospital, including three minors.
"We were sitting in the street and suddenly we saw an explosion," said Muhammad Abu Sadaa, describing the devastation in Jabalia.
"We came running to the place and found body parts lying on the ground... they were torn-apart children."
'We are all alone'
Daily life in the Gaza strip has come to a standstill, with the sole power station shut down due to a lack of fuel after Israel closed its border crossings.
Gaza's health ministry said the next few hours will be "crucial and difficult", warning that without electricity it soon risked suspending vital services.
In Gaza City, resident Dounia Ismail said the Israeli bombardment "brings back images of fear, anxiety and the feeling that we are all alone".
Civilians in southern and central Israel, meanwhile, were forced into air raid shelters, with two people hospitalised with shrapnel wounds and 13 others lightly hurt while running for safety, the Magen David Adom emergency service said.
"It's tense, it's frightening," said Beverly Jamil, a resident of Ashkelon close to Gaza, who has been rushing repeatedly to her air raid shelter.
"Ashkelon's a ghost town — it's a holiday, kids should be out playing."
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