Tension between Israel and militant groups in the Gaza Strip continued on Thursday, while the Hamas-run health ministry officials said the death toll in the besieged coastal enclave has climbed to 83.
The health ministry in Gaza said in a short text message sent to reporters that since the start of tension on Monday, 83 Palestinians were killed, including 17 children and seven women, adding that 487 were injured.
On Thursday, hundreds of Palestinian mourners joined the funeral of nine top militants of the armed wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), who were killed in the Israeli aerial attacks on the enclave, the Xinhua news agency reported.
While carrying the bodies, wrapped by Palestinian flags and Hamas green flags, on their shoulders, the mourners chanted slogans that called on militants in the Gaza Strip to revenge for their killing.
Overnight and on Thursday morning, Hamas armed wing militants and other minor groups continued firing barrages of rockets from Gaza into central and southern Israel.
Since the start of escalation on Monday, Gaza militants fired more than 1,600 rockets into Israel, while the Israeli army said it struck over 600 targets of Gaza militants' facilities and posts.
Local media outlets in the Gaza Strip said that regional and international efforts to end the growing tension and reach a truce between the two sides had not achieved any progress yet.