More than 1,200 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its air strikes on Saturday / Photo: AFP

South Africa is ready to help mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, drawing on its experience at conflict resolution, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

Ramaphosa also called for the immediate and unconditional opening of "humanitarian corridors" in the Middle East so that aid can get to people who urgently need it, in the wake of days of Israeli air strikes on Gazan targets in retribution for a weekend attack by Hamas militants.

"We remain gravely concerned at the devastating escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the atrocities committed against civilian populations. We call for the immediate cessation of violence and the exercise of restraint," Ramaphosa said in a statement.

"South Africa stands ready to work with the international community and to share our experience in mediation and conflict resolution as we have done on the continent and around the world."