JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli defense official says the Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international cease-fire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because Friday’s deliberations are taking place behind closed doors. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no immediate comment.
A Palestinian health official says the Gaza death toll has risen to 808, with 115 Palestinians killed on Thursday, in one of the bloodiest days in more than two weeks of fighting. Thirty-four Israelis, including 32 soldiers, and a Thai worker have also been killed.
Israeli police say thousands of security forces have been deployed around Jerusalem’s Old City in preparation for possible Palestinian protests after Friday prayers at a key Muslim holy site.