Israel responds to three rockets from Lebanon with artillery fire; Army tells Gazans to leave some areas, as death toll in Strip reaches 150; UN Security Council calls for cease-fire; American woman dies of heart attack after siren in Jerusalem.

Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish fire at UN storehouse after an Israeli military strike in an area west of Gaza City on July 12, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Five days after the launch of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s effort to put a halt to Hamas rocket fire, some 600 rockets had been fired from Gaza at Israel. Rockets fired throughout Saturday targeted communities near the Gaza Strip as well as Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Rehovot and Rishon Lezion. Hamas launched a major assault on central Israel in late evening. An American tourist died of a heart attack after sirens wailed in Jerusalem. Palestinian reports say at least 150 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes, including more than 15 in a strike late Saturday aimed at Hamas’s Gaza police chief. The Times of Israel liveblogged events throughout the day. (Sunday’s liveblog is here.)

srael’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, says strong diplomatic support from Israel’s international partners will be conducive to reaching a cease-fire in Gaza.

Speaking minutes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that no amount of world pressure would deter Israel from hitting Hamas to stop the rocket fire, Dermer emphasizes that the opposite is also true – that in cases in which world powers support Israel’s right to defend its citizens, it facilitates de-escalation.

Israeli Ambassador to the US presents his credentials to President Barack Obama at the White House, December 4, 2013 (photo credit: Twitter/ Amb. Ron Dermer)

Dermer says President Barack Obama has not wavered from the strong support that the US provided Israel during its last round of airstrikes against terror groups in Gaza in 2012′s Operation Pillar of Defense.

“In eight days in 2012, the president and the prime minister spoke four times and there was very strong support of the president of Israel’s right to defend itself,” Dermer tells reporters during a conference call sponsored by The Israel Project. “There is no indication that this time is different.”