The US – Israel’s closest ally – has said the shelling of a UN shelter in Gaza is “totally unacceptable and totally indefensible”.
In its strongest criticism yet of Israel’s offensive in the Palestinian territory, the US urged Israel to do more to protect civilian life.
A quarter of Gaza’s population has been displaced by the fighting, the UN says.
Israel says its operation in Gaza is designed to defend its population from attacks by Palestinian militants.
It blames the Hamas militant group for most of the civilian deaths in Gaza, saying its fighters deliberately operate from civilian areas.
The Israeli army has now “neutralized” 70-80% of Hamas’ offensive tunnel network into Israel.
In its strongest criticism yet of Israel’s offensive in the Palestinian territory, the US urged Israel to do more to protect civilian life
Israel says it will not stop its operation in Gaza until all the tunnels – which militants use to infiltrate Israeli territory – have been destroyed.
Since Israel began its offensive in Gaza on July 8, 1,422 Palestinians have been killed and 8,265 injured, most of them civilians, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
This means more Palestinians have now been killed than during Operation Cast Lead – the last time Israel launched a ground invasion in Gaza – in 2008-2009.
Fifty-eight Israelis have been killed in total – 56 soldiers and two civilians. A Thai worker in Israel has also died.
“There is a difference in approach between what Hamas is perpetrating on the Israeli people and what Israel is doing to defend their country,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.
“But the shelling of a UN facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible, and it is clear that we need our allies in Israel to do more to live up to high standards that they have set for themselves.”
He was referring to an incident on Wednesday, when at least 16 people were killed when shellfire hit a UN-run school designated as a civilian shelter in the Jabaliya district of Gaza City.
Josh Earnest said there was little doubt that the shells were fired by the Israeli military.
The UN has also condemned the continuing violence.
“The reality of Gaza today is that no place is safe,” UN humanitarian chief Baroness Valerie Amos told the Security Council.
At least two Palestinians have been killed and 200 wounded in the West Bank during protests against Israel’s campaign in Gaza, officials say.
About 10,000 protesters marched from Ramallah towards East Jerusalem, where they were met by Israeli forces.
At least 15 people died and scores were injured when an UN-run shelter came under fire in Gaza on Thursday.
More than 800 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have died since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on July 8.
Palestinian leaders in the West Bank have called for a “day of anger” on Friday, one of the last days of Ramadan.
The protest at Qalandia, outside Ramallah, saw Israeli border police use “riot control measures” and live fire. Protesters also used live ammunition, Israel said.
At least two Palestinians have been killed and 200 wounded in the West Bank during protests against Israel’s campaign in Gaza
Large protests were also reported in Jerusalem on Thursday evening, after Israeli police prevented men under 50 from visiting the al-Aqsa mosque.
At least 20 protesters were arrested after they threw rocks at police, Israeli police said.
Israel launched its military offensive with the declared objective of stopping Hamas firing rockets into Israel.
It has since discovered a network of tunnels used by militants to infiltrate Israeli territory, and has vowed to destroy them to restore security.
Efforts to broker a ceasefire have been continuing despite the continued violence.
Reports suggest a deal under discussion could allow Israeli forces to remain in Gaza to destroy tunnels.
Palestinian leaders say this is the start of the “uprising of freedom and independence”. Thousands marched from the outskirts of Ramallah towards the Qalandia checkpoint calling for an end to the Israeli occupation.
Youths threw stones and petrol bombs towards the checkpoint and tried to destroy the barrier. Israeli police say they used percussion bombs and tear gas.
The demonstration was called for by a group of youths on Facebook, among them the son of the popular imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has urged Palestinians to expand the protests, and leaders in the West Bank have called for a “day of anger” on Friday.