Palestinians walk through the rubble of a building following an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City, on Aug. 9, 2018. (Xinhua/Stringer)
JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Israel's security cabinet announced on Thursday that it will continue its strikes in Gaza, despite the UN and Egyptian efforts to achieve a cease-fire after two days of severe escalation.
The security cabinet held an emergency meeting in Tel Aviv to discuss the flare-up of violence, which started on Wednesday.
"The cabinet instructed the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to continue to act forcefully against terror sites," The prime minister's office said in a statement after the meeting.
Earlier in the day, a Hamas official said talks were held in Egypt's capital Cairo in an attempt to reach a lull in Gaza.
"There is a great willingness on the part of the Palestinian factions (to achieve truce)," the official said.
Israeli war jets have struck more than 150 sites in Gaza since Wednesday overnight, killing a pregnant woman, her baby and a Hamas fighter, while Gaza militants launched about 200 rockets toward southern Israel, without causing casualties.
It was the third serious escalation of violence since July and came amid attempts by the UN and Egypt to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian movement that runs Gaza.