Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Saturday that his government was working with Israel and the Palestinians to “restore peace and stability” in Gaza.
“We contacted everyone around the clock in order for things not to get out of control and to prevent fighting,” el-Sissi said during a speech to students of the Egyptian Military Academy in Cairo.
Israeli airstrikes flattened homes in Gaza on Saturday and rocket barrages into southern Israel persisted, raising fears of an escalation in a conflict that has killed at least 15 people in the coastal strip.
The fighting began with Israel’s killing of a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group in a wave of strikes Friday that Israel said were meant to prevent an imminent attack.
A five-year-old girl and two women are among those killed in the strikes.
So far, Hamas, the larger militant group that rules Gaza, appeared to stay on the sidelines of the conflict, keeping its intensity somewhat contained.
Israel and Hamas fought a war barely a year ago, one of four major conflicts and several smaller battles over the last 15 years that wreaked a staggering cost to the impoverished territory’s two million Palestinian residents.