The United Nations and Egypt made an intense push to end the latest outbreak of violence between Israel and Gaza, as the United States said it was also engaged with the parties.
Egypt has been a longstanding broker between Israel and Gaza and has facilitated indirect talks for a restoration of calm during past outbreaks of violence.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that his country was working to end the violence that escalated on Friday.
Egypt “made contacts with everyone around the clock in order for things to not get out of control and for fighting to not take place,” El-Sisi said in a speech he gave on Saturday, according to the Egyptian Ahram Online website.
An Egyptian intelligence delegation headed by Major General Ahmed Abdelkhaliq arrived in Israel on Saturday and would be traveling to Gaza for mediation talks, two Egyptian security sources said. They were hoping to secure a day's ceasefire in order to carry out the talks, the sources added.
Wennesland's and Nides's statements
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland has also been involved in substantive efforts to end the violence, with a diplomatic source saying on Saturday that “intensive efforts are ongoing right now.”
Wennesland said on Friday, “I am deeply concerned by the ongoing escalation between Palestinian militants and Israel, including the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza. This takes place amidst mounting tensions across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent weeks.”
“I am deeply concerned by the ongoing escalation between Palestinian militants and Israel, including the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza."Tor Wennesland
“In the past few hours, at least 10 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes. I am deeply saddened by reports that a five-year-old child has been killed in these strikes. There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians,” he stated.
“The launching of rockets must cease immediately, and I call on all sides to avoid further escalation.”
US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides tweeted on Friday, "The United States firmly believes that Israel has a right to protect itself.” He added that “we are engaging with different parties and urge all sides for calm.”
Reuters contributed to this report.