85 killed since Israeli operation in Gaza began


For the fourth day in a row, Israeli forces launched air and ground operations against militants in northern Gaza on Saturday, actions aimed at stopping what Israel says is a steady barrage of rocket fire into its towns. Emergency workers on Saturday carry a wounded baby after an Israeli operation near Jebaliyah.

Fifty-two Palestinians have been killed and 200 wounded since Friday in Gaza, Palestinian medical sources said, in the deadliest 24 hours of violence in more than a year. The sources said 85 people have been killed in the Jebaliyah area since the incursion began Wednesday, including civilians and children.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has requested that the United Nations Security Council convene on the matter, according to chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Palestinian leaders in the West Bank are threatening to cut off peace talks with Israel. Israel launched airstrikes and limited ground operations in northern Gaza on Wednesday after militants fired rockets into Israeli territory.

Two Israeli soldiers were killed Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces announced. Hamas security and medical sources told CNN that an Israeli airstrike early Saturday in northern Gaza killed Hamas commander Iyyad al-Ashram.