Kandil said Cairo would “spare no effort” to achieve a ceasefire, and has made it clear he blames Israel for the conflict.

“This tragedy cannot pass in silence and the world should take responsibility in stopping this aggression,” he said, while on a visit to a Gaza hospital.

Israel had said it was prepared to suspend its military offensive during Kandil’s three-hour visit, if militant groups also ceased rocket fire.

However, rockets fired from Gaza hit several sites in southern Israel on Friday morning, shortly after Kandil arrived in the Palestinian enclave, and The Israeli air force responded with an attack on the house of Hamas’s commander for southern Gaza reports The Guardian

Medics said the air strike killed two people, one of them a child, raising the Palestinian death toll since Wednesday to 21. Three Israelis were killed by a rocket on Thursday.

In a sign that Israel is preparing to further escalate Operation Pillar of Defence, the military said it was calling up 16,000 reservists, after receiving permission to draft up to 30,000. Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu has said a ground invasion of Gaza cannot be ruled out.