Gaza City - Israel intensified its bombardment of Gaza on Wednesday, killing four children on a beach in an apparent naval salvo and launching deadly air strikes, as regional leaders sought to end the killing.
The punishing air campaign aimed at halting cross-border rocket fire by Hamas militants resumed after Egyptian-brokered truce efforts collapsed on Tuesday.
So far, Israel's campaign, now in its ninth day, has killed 220 Palestinians, with a Gaza-based human rights group saying over 80% of them were civilians.
In the same period, militants have fired more than 1 200 rockets at Israel, which on Tuesday claimed their first Israeli life.
Hamas said it had rejected the Egyptian truce efforts because it had not been included in the discussions.
The peace initiative continued on Wednesday, however, with a Hamas official meeting Egyptian leaders as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas arrived in Cairo to join the diplomatic efforts.