Jerusalem (Israel) | Jagran News Desk: With the battle between Israel and Palestine intensify, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said that Tel Aviv will continue to launch air strike in Gaza as he blamed Hamas and other terror groups for starting the war that conflict that has claimed over 140 lives so far.

In a televised address, Netanyahu said that the Israeli operation will continue "as long as necessary", adding that his military would do its utmost to avoid civilian casualties.

"Unlike Hamas, which deliberately intends to harm civilians while hiding behind civilians, we are doing everything, but everything, to avoid or limit as much as possible harming civilians and to directly strike terrorists instead," he said.

This comes after Netanyahu held a telephonic conversation with United States (US) President Joe Biden, who condemned the "indiscriminate attacks" by terror groups against Israel.

During his conversation, Biden reaffirmed his support for Israel's right to defend but raised concerns about the safety and security of journalists.

Israel had bombed a 13-storey building with international media offices, including Qatar-based Al Jazeera and United States' The Associated Press, in Gaza on Saturday.

"The President voiced his concern about violent confrontations in the West Bank. He expressed his support for steps to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy the dignity, security, freedom, and economic opportunity that they deserve and affirmed his support for a two-state solution. The leaders agreed to continue the close consultation between their teams and to remain in touch in the days ahead," the White House said.

At least 149 have been killed in Gaza since the violence began on Monday, including 41 children, health officials said. Israel, on the other hand, has reported 10 dead, including two children.

Envoys from the United States, United Nations and Egypt were working to restore calm but have yet to show any signs of progress.

The UN Security Council was due to meet later on Sunday to discuss the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years.

Both Israel and Hamas have insisted they would continue their cross-border fire, a day after Israel destroyed a 12-storey building in Gaza City that had housed the U.S Associated Press and Qatar-based Al Jazeera media operations. The Israel military said the al-Jala building was a legitimate military target, containing Hamas military offices, and that it had given warnings to civilians to get out of the building before the attack.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma