Pressing ahead with Israeli aggression, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he had ordered his army to continue striking Palestine's blockaded Gaza strip, Israeli media reported. Since Saturday, PM Netanyahu's government and army has killed at least 24 Palestinian civilians and wounded 154 more people.
At a Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said he had ordered the Israeli army "to continue their strikes on targets in the Gaza strip," adding that the Israeli army "is beefing up its armored forces, artillery batteries and infantry troops in the Gaza border area," Yediot Aharonot daily reported.
The Israeli Cabinet is scheduled to convene later Sunday to discuss the current escalation in Gaza.
Israeli warplanes later hit the headquarters of the Palestinian Internal Security agency in the Gaza Strip, the Gaza-based Interior Ministry said.
The toll of Palestinians killed Sunday in the Gaza Strip rose to 18, the enclave's health ministry said, as Israel carried out a series of airstrikes.
The ministry said three people, including a pregnant woman, were killed in northern Gaza and two in southern Gaza, raising an earlier toll of seven.
Three members of the same family, including an infant, were later reported dead after an airstrike hit their home in northern Gaza, pushing the death toll over 20. Witnesses said the airstrike hit a multi-story apartment building in Beit Lahiya.
On Sunday, two Israelis were killed and another was injured by a rocket attack in southern Israel.
"A 40-year-old man and a 22-year-old man were killed by a direct rocket hit on a factory in Ashkelon city," Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency agency, said in a statement.
"Another, 50, was moderately wounded and transferred to the hospital for treatment," it added.
Palestinian resistance factions, meanwhile, announced in a joint statement Sunday that they had targeted Beersheba and Ashkelon with dozens of rockets "in response to the Israeli targeting of safe houses in the Gaza Strip."
The resistance factions warned Israel against continuing "the policy of targeting and bombing safe houses," vowing retaliation.
Israel has in total killed 24 civilians and left 154 others injured so far in continuing assaults since Saturday, Palestinian Health Ministry said.
Also on Saturday, a building where Anadolu Agency's office in Gaza was located was razed by Israeli warplanes. No deaths or injuries were reported in the attack.
The escalation in the Gaza strip started when four Palestinians were killed, including a teenager, and 51 wounded on Friday in Israeli attacks on Hamas-affiliated sites and a separate attack on a Palestinian rally against the decade-long occupation and siege of the Gaza strip.