Israel has called up 9,000 reservists and massed at least three brigades on the Gaza frontier ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory.
In the latest attacks on Friday, defeating blasts from the outskirts of Gaza City jolted people awake and led to screams of fear from people inside the city, the Associated Press reported.
“I said we would extract a very heavy price from Hamas,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a videotaped statement. “We are doing that, and we will continue to do that with heavy force.”
- The fighting broke out late Monday when Hamas, claiming to be the defender of Jerusalem, fired a barrage of long-range rockets toward the city.
- Since then, Israel has attacked hundreds of targets in Gaza.
- Israel regards Jerusalem in its entirety as its capital, while the Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.
Tanks and artillery were deployed Thursday, but the Israel Defense Forces said that no ground troops were in Gaza. The clarification came after the IDF tweeted that air and ground troops are “currently attacking in the Gaza Strip,” which coincided with a new round of artillery and airstrikes.
The Israeli military added that about 160 aircraft also conducted a massive overnight attack on a network of tunnels dug by Hamas, reports said.
At least 109 Palestinians, including 28 children and 15 women have been killed, and more than 621 were wounded, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. At least seven people have been killed in Israel, including a 6-year-old boy.
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