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Late on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a four-hour emergency meeting with a number of senior ministers in Tel Aviv on widening the military offensive in Gaza, Reuters reported.
Netanyahu consulted with other cabinet ministers on the issue by telephone.
The ministers approved the call-up of up to 75,000 army reservists.
Earlier in the day, Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil visited Gaza and condemned the Israeli aggression against the people of Gaza.
"Egypt will spare no effort… to stop the aggression and to achieve a truce," Qandil said as he visited injured residents at Gaza City's al-Shifa Hospital.
Israeli airstrikes, shelling, and artillery fire have left 35 Palestinians, including 8 children and a pregnant woman, dead and over 300 others injured since November 10. Some of the injured are in critical condition.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.
According to Hamas sources, the Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down on Friday.
Meanwhile, several Israelis were injured after three rockets fired from Gaza hit the Zionist settlement of Gush Etzion in al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Palestinian missiles and rockets have also hit the other Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Eshkol, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Be'er Sheva.
In Tel Aviv, a rocket hit a commercial district while a second rocket landed 200 meters away from the American Embassy. It is the first time that Tel Aviv has come under attack in decades. Three Israeli soldiers have been injured in a rocket attack in Eshkol.
Hospitals across Israel are now in state of emergency.
Palestinians have fired over 550 rockets and missiles into Israel since Wednesday after Tel Aviv launched a major military strike against the besieged Palestinian territory, killing scores of people, including women and children.
The Israeli Army says it has hit more than 600 targets in Gaza during the past three days.
According to Israeli sources, the Iron Dome missile shield has only intercepted one-fifth of the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
The Pentagon chief said the U.S. supported the request and that talks with Turkey were under way. “They have asked that we work with them to try to see what we can do to give them some missile defense capability. We are working with them, and our hope is that we can help provide that kind of assistance,” VOA quoted Panetta as saying.