A US envoy has arrived in Tel Aviv for de-escalation talks as unrest between Israel and the Palestinians continues.
Hady Amr will take part in talks with Israeli, Palestinian and UN officials and reinforce what US diplomats said was the need for a “sustainable calm”.
Mr Amr’s arrival comes ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Sunday. The US embassy in Israel said the aim of his trip was to “reinforce the need to work toward a sustainable calm”.
But appeals to Israeli and Palestinian leaders have so far failed to produce a ceasefire agreement.
Israel’s airstrikes on Hamas in Gaza have forced the Middle East onto US President Joe Biden’s agenda. His administration has had to rapidly step up its game on the diplomatic front without a full team in place: there is not even a nominee yet for ambassador to Israel.
This week’s violence in Gaza and Israel is the worst since 2014.
At least 136 people have been killed in Gaza and eight have died in Israel since the fighting began.
On Friday, clashes spread to the West Bank, with at least 11 Palestinians killed and hundreds injured. Israeli forces used teargas, rubber bullets and live fire, as Palestinians threw petrol bombs.
Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip killed 10 people on Saturday, with seven killed by an Israeli airstrike at a refugee camp west of Gaza City, according to sources.
A five-month-old baby is said to be the only survivor of that strike, found trapped in the rubble next to his dead mother. A number of people were also reported missing.
Israeli officials reported about 200 rocket launched from Gaza overnight by Palestinian militants, with direct hits on apartments in the cities of Ashdod and Beersheba, but no casualties.
Saturday is the day when Palestinians commemorate what they call al-Nakba, the Catastrophe. It marks the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were forced or driven from their homes in the Arab-Israeli war which began the day after Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948.
An estimated 10,000 Palestinians have left their homes in Gaza since Monday because of the conflict, according to the UN.