Israel Gaza violence: US envoy arrives for de-escalation talks

Rockets are launched from Gaza City, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, towards Israel. Photo: AFP

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 in the hope of agreeing on a ceasefire.

Early on Saturday, Israel conducted air strikes in Gaza and Palestinian militants responded by firing rockets into Israel.

The clashes recorded over the past five days marks some of the worst violence in the region in years.

The conflict began on Monday and followed weeks of spiralling Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem.

The increased hostilities culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Hamas – the militant Islamist group which rules Gaza – began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.

At least 133 people have been killed in Gaza and eight have died in Israel since the fighting began.

Palestinian health ministry officials said an Israeli air strike early on Saturday killed at least seven Palestinians, including women and children, at a refugee camp west of Gaza City.

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