RAMALLAH, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called on Israel to immediately stop its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip amid a growing tension in the enclave, state-run news agency Wafa reported.
Abbas warned Israel of the dangers of escalation and tension, and called for the international community's intervention.
"The Palestinian leadership is holding intensive and urgent contacts with Arab and international states to stop this Israeli escalation immediately," Abbas said.
"The international community has to intervene immediately to stop the serious Israeli escalation, which will drag the entire region into more destruction and instability," he added.
Earlier on Monday and overnight, nine Palestinians were killed in the intensive Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, of whom seven were from Hamas' armed wing al-Qassam Brigades.
For the first time since the tension started between Israel and the Palestinians three weeks ago, al-Qassam Brigades said on Monday in a statement that it fired dozens of rockets into Israel' s depth.
"Al-Qassam Brigades strike the Israeli towns of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Netivot with dozens of rockets in response to the Zionist aggression," the statement read.
Israel has vowed painful responses to the rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities, about 40 kilometers far from the Hamas- ruled coastal enclave.