Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said Israel was waging a war on the entire Palestinian people and not just Hamas, calling for urgent Arab and international action to stop the "bloodbath."
"This isn't a war against Hamas or any other Palestinian faction," Abbas said in televised remarks. "This is a war against the entire Palestinian people."
Seven Palestinians, including three children, were killed in the Gaza Strip earlier Wednesday by fresh Israeli airstrikes, bringing the total number of Gazans killed since Monday to 75.
At least 300 Gazans have also been injured by Israeli airstrikes over the same period.
On Tuesday, Israel launched a military offensive – dubbed "Operation Protective Edge" – with the stated aim of staunching rocket fire emanating from Gaza.
Israel, meanwhile, has continued to pound the coastal enclave with airstrikes, while ground troops remain massed on the strip's borders in advance of a possible ground assault.
Abbas noted that ongoing Israeli strikes were killing entire Palestinian families.
"We have two families each losing seven members in strikes on their homes," he fumed.
"We have victims as young as six and as old as 70. Were these people firing rockets from inside their homes?" Abbas asked.
He insisted that Israel was not defending itself against rocket fire, but was rather defending its longstanding occupation of Palestinian territory and its policy of unabated settlement building.