0238 GMT December 13, 2019
The fighting – which has killed six Palestinians and a Palestinian man in Israel since Monday comes as the United Nations, Egypt and Qatar seek to broker a long-term cease-fire and head off another major conflict in the besieged, densely populated enclave, Reuters wrote.
Hamas, Gaza's dominant resistance movement, and other armed factions fired over 400 rockets or mortar bombs across the fence after carrying out a surprise guided-missile attack on Monday on a bus that wounded an Israeli soldier, the military said.
The salvoes were the fiercest since the seven-week Gaza war in 2014 between Israel and Gaza. Hamas said it was retaliating for a botched Israeli commando raid in Gaza that killed one of its commanders and six other members on Sunday. An Israeli colonel was also killed in that incident.
In Gaza City, people gathered in front of a large mound of debris that was once a multi-floor structure. It was flanked by five-story buildings still standing after the airstrike, their shattered stone facades adding to the tall pile of rubble.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said on Sunday he hoped to avoid another Gaza war and reach an "arrangement" that would also ease Palestinian economic hardship, convened his security cabinet.
A Palestinian official said Egypt and the United Nations had stepped up efforts to end the current round of fighting.
"The (Palestinian factions) agreed to hold fire to give Egyptian efforts to end Israeli aggression a chance, but the factions will respond to every Israeli attack," the official said.
Since the 2014 war, both Hamas and Israel have pulled back after brief bouts of fighting from another large-scale conflict.