JERUSALEM -- Israel's Security Cabinet was due to meet Friday to discuss international cease-fire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza, a defense official told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the deliberations were taking place behind closed doors. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no immediate comment.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian health official said the Gaza death toll had risen to 808, with 115 Palestinians killed on Thursday, in one of the bloodiest days in more than two weeks of fighting. That figure included 15 civilians who were killed when shells hit a U.N. school that was crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fighting. Thirty-four Israelis, including 32 soldiers, and a Thai worker have been killed. Violence also spread to the West Bank, where thousands of Palestinians protesting the Gaza fighting clashed with Israeli soldiers late Thursday. At least one Palestinian was killed and dozens were injured. Secretary of State John Kerry has been in Cairo, Israel and Ramallah since Monday to press regional leaders for a truce Speaking late Thursday, Kerry said: "We still have more work to do."
- 'I Lost Everything': Gazan Relives Strike That Killed Family
- How Hamas Is Fending Off Israel's Might
- Israel's Empty Border Towns 'No Place for Children'