GAZA CITY — Israel continued airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on Friday, as Palestinians in the West Bank called for a "Day of Rage" following the shelling of a U.N. school used as a shelter the previous day, where the deaths of at least 15 set off protests in the West Bank.
Security in Jerusalem and the West Bank was beefed up Friday, the last one during Ramadan as Israel braced for more protests. Traditionally, demonstrators in the Muslim world are held after noon prayer on Fridays. The move comes after thousands clashed with Israeli security forces Thursday night, leaving at least one Palestinian dead.
Dozens were also wounded when a U.N. school was hit Thursday in the northern town of Beit Hanoun as the U.N. was attempting to arrange a humanitarian pause in the fighting in order to evacuate civilians.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said Israeli shells hit the school. The Israeli military said it was reviewing the incident, and suggested Hamas-launched rockets may have been responsible for the deaths.
The conflict — now in its 18th day — has killed 828 Palestinians and left 5,200 injured, said Ashraf al-Kidra, a Palestinian health official. Since July 8, 35 Israelis — including 33 soldiers — have been killed, according to the Israeli Defense Forces. A Thai worker in Israel also died.
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Israeli planes hit 30 houses throughout Gaza early Friday, including the home of Salah Hassanein, a leader of the military wing of Islamic Jihad, the second-largest militant group in Gaza after Hamas. Hassanein and two of his sons were killed in the strike, said Gaza police spokesman Ayman Batniji and al-Kidra. The Israeli army confirmed the strike.
International leaders continued to step up efforts to stem the violence on Friday.
The U.S. is proposing a temporary 5-day truce to work out a cease-fire deal. A previous truce proposed by Egypt last week was rejected by Hamas because the group said it wasn't consulted. Hamas says any peace deal must include the lifting of the blockade against Gaza.
Meanwhile, support for Hamas, in spite of the casualties — or some say because of them — is growing in Gaza.
"The problem is not with Hamas, the problem is the occupation," said Arafat Yasin, 46, a displaced resident from the Shijaeyyah neighborhood in east Gaza City that came under heavy bombardment last weekend. "The Palestinian Authority has been engaged in peace talks with Israelis for over 20 years and the actions of the Israelis reflect their unwillingness to end their occupation."
"It's clear that they – the Israelis -- are not interested in peace," he added.
Bhatti reported from Berlin. Contributing: The Associated Press