International communities and protesters around the world have called for an end to Israel's air raids on the Gaza Strip as at least 33 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded in early Sunday attacks.
Ahead of the United Nations Security Council meeting later on Sunday, it was the deadliest single-day assault since the start of heavy fighting between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers nearly a week ago.
With the latest fatalities, Palestinian death toll rises to more than 180 in the Gaza Strip in the past week. Israel has also reported 10 dead so far as Hamas-fired rockets hit towns and cities in southern Israel.
Amnesty International said Israel is committing war crimes as Saudi Arabia during the emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) accused Israel of flagrant violations against the Palestinians.
"Such a disproportionate attack amounts to war crime," Saleh Hijazi, deputy regional director at Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa, told Qatar-based international news channel Al Jazeera.
He added Israel was trying to hide what it was doing in Gaza and to the people of Gaza.
At the OIC meeting, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on the international community to carry out its responsibility towards ending this "dangerous escalation", to act urgently to halt military operations and to revive peace negotiations based on a two-state solution.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the meeting that Israel is solely responsible for ongoing atrocities in Palestine.
Emirati and Bahraini ministers at the virtual gathering of the 57-member OIC called for a ceasefire and stressed the importance of preserving the identity of Jerusalem, which contains sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, reported Arab News.
On Sunday, Pope Francis in comments after his Sunday prayer in the Vatican also appealed for an end to the bloodshed. "Do we really think we can build peace by destroying each other?" he said.
Denouncing the loss of innocent lives as "terrible and unacceptable", he called for calm and urged those in charge to halt the "clamour of weapons".
Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted that it is "imperative" to stop the fighting and resume talks towards a two-state solution.
The European Union foreign ministers will hold a video meeting Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. The bloc's foreign affairs service said the message is clear, "Violence must end now".
On Saturday, US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reaffirmed his "strong support for Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza", the White House said.
He also spoke with Palestinian Authority President Abbas and "conveyed a commitment to strengthening the US-Palestinian partnership," the White House added in a tweet.
After the talk with the US president, Netanyahu at a press conference thanked Biden for his support, and said, "Israel's operations on Gaza will continue as long as needed to reach its aims."
With the continuing support to Israel, US President Biden faces an angry rift in his own party over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reports CNN.
Vocal liberals have criticized the White House for placating Israel and ignoring human rights as violence mounts, as well as loudly criticizing Biden for not openly opposing Israel's planned evictions of Palestinian families from a neighbourhood in east Jerusalem.
US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Biden's administration for failing to stand up to Israel, which she called an "apartheid state".
"Apartheid states are not democracies," she tweeted.
She said, while showing a video of the Israeli attack on the Al Jazeera and Associated Press offices Saturday, "This is happening with the support of the United States."
She added, "I don't care how any spokesperson tries to spin this. The US vetoed the UN call for ceasefire. If the Biden admin can't stand up to an ally, who can it stand up to? How can they credibly claim to stand for human rights?"
In another development Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the UN Security Council to seek an early de-escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers. He also blamed the US for the council's lack of action so far.
"Regrettably, the council has so far failed to reach an agreement, with the United States standing on the opposite side of international justice," the state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Wang.
The fighting between Israel and Hamas was triggered by days of escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a holy hilltop compound in East Jerusalem.
The site is revered by both Muslims, who call it the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and Jews, for whom it is known as the Temple Mount. Hamas demanded Israel remove police from there and the nearby predominantly Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families face eviction by Jewish settlers. Hamas launched rockets when its ultimatum went unheeded.
Palestinian anger had already been stoked by weeks of rising tension in East Jerusalem, inflamed by a series of confrontations with police since the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in mid-April.