The worst escalation of violence in the last seven years between Palestinians and Israelis has claimed the lives of at least 83 Palestinians, with several hundred more wounded, while violent riots are spreading through the streets of Israel’s cities, particularly those with mixed Jewish and Arab populations.

Amid the unrest, Israel on Thursday deployed more troops in anticipation of a potential ground operation in Gaza, as the barrage of rocket fire from the enclave and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on the Strip that began on Monday continued.

"We have ground units that are ready and are in various stages of preparation for ground operations," said Jonathan Conricus, military spokesman. EFE