Israeli forces continued to strike targets in Gaza on Saturday as Palestinians responded by firing rockets into Israel as fighting dragged on into a second day.
Israel said it launched its military operation on Friday to eliminate “a concrete threat” against its citizens and to target “terrorists and their sponsors”. Prime Minister Yair Lapid said a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group had been killed.
The death toll rose to 15 on Saturday afternoon, with 125 injured, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which cited figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. A five-year-old Palestinian girl was among those killed in the raids, according to a statement from the European Union’s External Action Service on Saturday.
The EU called for “maximum restraint on all sides”, according to a spokesman for the EU’s diplomatic service headed by Josep Borrell.
“The EU calls for maximum restraint from all parties to avoid further escalation and further casualties,” the spokesperson said. “While Israel has the right to protect its civilian population, everything must be done to prevent a wider conflict, which would primarily affect civilian populations on both sides and result in further casualties and more suffering.”