Smoke rises over Gaza, as seen from Israel's border with Gaza. (File)
Saudi Arabia on Saturday warned Israel against any further ground operations in the embattled Gaza Strip over the threat to Palestinian civilians, denouncing an "unjustified" violation of international law.
The warning came after Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said Friday night that the Israeli army was "extending" its ground operations after two straight nights of tank incursions.
Saudi Arabia "condemns and denounces any ground operations carried out by Israel due to the threat they pose to the lives of Palestinian civilians", the kingdom's foreign ministry said in a statement.
It warned against "the danger of continuing to carry out these blatant and unjustified violations of international law against the brotherly Palestinian people", saying it would have "serious repercussions for the stability of the region".
Israel unleashed its bombing campaign after Hamas gunmen broke across the Gaza border on October 7, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and seizing more than 220 hostages, according to Israeli officials.
The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Israeli strikes had killed 7,703 people, mainly civilians, including more than 3,500 children.
Israel's army relentlessly hammered the territory on Saturday after fierce overnight bombardments that rescuers said destroyed hundreds of buildings, three weeks into a war sparked by the deadliest attack in the country's history.
"The kingdom calls on the international community to assume its responsibilities to immediately stop this military operation" and "enable humanitarian and relief organisations to deliver humanitarian aid" to civilians, the foreign ministry said.
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held phone calls with his Jordanian, Moroccan and Egyptian counterparts on Saturday in which they discussed the need to stop the military escalation, it added.
Israel's overnight strikes against Hamas, the Islamist group that has ruled Gaza since 2007, were the most intense since the war broke out. They coincided with ground operations.
The war is the fifth and deadliest conflict in Gaza since Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Palestinian territory in 2005.
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