RAMALLAH: The Palestinian government declared Wednesday a state of emergency at occupied West Bank hospitals, ordering hospital staff to prepare to treat injured victims from the embattled Gaza Strip, which has been reeling for days under relentless Israelis airstrikes.
Following an emergency meeting in Ramallah, the government said it would remain in session in order to follow developments and mull means of countering the crisis at the national, regional and international levels.
"The Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves against savage aggression [by Israel] using all means guaranteed by international conventions to people under occupation," the government said in a statement.
It called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to urge international organizations to protect the Palestinian people and stop Israel's aggression.
The government also called on the international community to ratchet up pressure on Israel to halt its assaults on the Gaza Strip, describing recent attacks by the self-proclaimed Jewish state as "crimes" that would lead to more violence and undermine peace prospects.
The Israeli onslaught - Which remains ongoing - has so far claimed the lives of 35 Palestinians while injuring scores of others.
The Israeli government, for its part, says the strikes are in response to rocket fire by Palestinian resistance groups based in Gaza.
Violence between the embattled coastal enclave and Israel has flared since the latter blamed the Gaza-based Hamas movement for the disappearance and subsequent death of three Jewish settlers in mid-June.