Pope Francis called on Sunday (May 16) for an end to the conflict in Israel and Gaza, saying the deaths of so many innocent people in recent days, including children, was unacceptable.
"I appeal for calm, and for those responsible to end the clamour of weapons and to take the path of peace," he said in a weekly address to faithful gathered in Saint Peter's Square.
"Many innocent people have died, amongst them there are also children. This is terrible. Unacceptable. Their death is a sign that people don't want to build a future, but destroy it ... I wonder where hatred and revenge will lead?"
Israeli air strikes killed 33 Palestinians, including 13 children, in Gaza early on Sunday, Gaza health officials said, and militants fired rockets into Israel as hostilities stretched into a seventh day.
The pre-dawn attacks were on houses in the centre of Gaza City, health officials said. A spokesman for the Israeli military said he would look into these reports.
The death toll in Gaza jumped to 181, including 52 children, since the fighting erupted last Monday (May 10). In Israel, 10 people including two children have been killed in rocket attacks by Hamas and other militant groups.
With no sign of an end to the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years, the United Nations Security Council was due to meet later on Sunday to discuss the situation.
Both Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that runs the enclave, said they would continue their cross-border fire after Israel destroyed a 12-storey building in Gaza City on Saturday (May 15) that 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 advance warnings to civilians to get out of the building.
In what Hamas called a reprisal for Israel's destruction of the al-Jala building, Hamas fired 120 rockets overnight, the Israeli military said, with many intercepted and around a dozen falling short and landing in Gaza.