GAZA CITY/ ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expressed concern and condemned the recent escalation of violence and loss of lives in Gaza brought forth by Israeli aggression, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.
In a press release issued today, the foreign office said that Pakistan also supports the efforts of the international community to halt the Israeli strikes which have resulted in the deaths of several Palestinians – including children.
Eleven women and children were among 17 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza Wednesday, hiking the overall death toll to 38 in two days, the emergency services said.
More than 300 people have been wounded.
Among the dead was at least one militant, as well as six children and five women, emergency services spokesperson Ashraf al Qudra told AFP. It was not immediately clear whether the other five fatalities were civilians or militants.
The deadliest single strike took place shortly after midnight when a missile slammed into a house in the northern town of Beit Hanun, killing Hafez Hammad, a senior Islamic commander, and five of his family members, including two women and two children.
In another series of raids to the north and east of Gaza City, Israeli warplanes killed two more women and four children, Qudra said.
Two brothers, Mohammed Aarif, 13 and 12-year-old Amir were killed in an air strike on Shejaiya, east of Gaza City, while another strike in the nearby Zeitun district killed Amina Malaka, 27, and her 18-month-old son Mohammed, he said.
Further north, another missile hit Beit Hanun, killing 40-year-old Sahar al-Masri and her 14-year-old son Ibrahim, he added.
Elsewhere in Gaza, a 30-year-old man was killed in a pre-dawn strike on the southern city of Rafah. His identity was not immediately clear.
And several hours later, a drone fired a missile at a motorcycle in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, leaving 30-year-old Rafiq al-Kafarne clinically dead and another person severely wounded.
In Mughraqa in central Gaza, medics retrieved the body of 80-year-old Naifeh Farajallah from the rubble of her house damaged in an earlier air strike.
In the same area, an Israel missile killed two men in a field near Nusseirat refugee camp. Medics named them as Abdel Nasser Abu Kweik, 60, and his son Khaled, 31.
Overnight, Israeli warplanes struck 160 targets, raising the overall number of strikes to 430 since the launch of Operation Protective Edge in the early hours of Tuesday.
Since midnight (2100 GMT), at least 10 rockets struck Israel, and another 16 were shot down by Iron Dome, two of them over the Tel Aviv area, an army spokesperson said.
Israeli media reported that two rockets crashed into the sea Wednesday off the northern port city of Haifa, some 165 kilometres north of Gaza.
If confirmed, it would be the furthest a rocket fired from Gaza has ever travelled.
Throughout Tuesday, 117 rockets struck Israel, with 45 of them targeting major cities in the centre, among them Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as Hadera, 116 kilometres to the north.
Another 45 missiles were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
On Tuesday, 21 Palestinians were killed, including 17 in strikes on Gaza, as well as four Hamas militants who were shot dead after infiltrating southern Israel by sea.
Israeli strikes on Gaza kill 2 women, 4 children: medics
Israeli warplanes on Wednesday killed two women and four children in a series of strikes to the north and east of Gaza City, medics said.
"Four Palestinians were killed in air strikes, including two brothers who are 12 and 13 years old in Shejaiya, while a four-year-old boy and a woman were killed in a raid on Zeitun," emergency services spokesperson Ashraf al Qudra told AFP.
Both neighbourhoods are located east of Gaza City, close to the frontier with Israel.
In a separate air strike on the northern town of Beit Hanun, a 40-year-old woman and her 14-year-old son were killed, he added.