JERUSALEM, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Israel has intensified the air strikes on Gaza Strip, killing eight members of a Gazan family in the early hours of Thursday morning, Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement, while Gaza militants fired two rockets at Tel Aviv.
This has been the deadliest air raid since Israel launched " Operation Protective Edge" on Tuesday, killing five children and three adults near the town of Khan Younis, Palestinian sources said.
A spokesperson with the Israeli army told Xinhua it had no immediate comment on the deadly strike, adding they are "still checking the facts of the case."
The air raids on Gaza have intensified overnight, as the Israeli army struck 108 sites in the strip, according to figures provided to Xinhua by an army spokesperson. During this time, Gaza militants fired only 11 rockets at Israel, six of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missiles defense system, the spokesperson added.
On Thursday morning, five Fajr rockets were fired at Tel Aviv, Israel's financial center, and intercepted by Iron Dome. Some shrapnel fell in a gas station in southern Tel Aviv. At noon, Iron Dome intercepted two additional rockets which were launched towards Tel Aviv.
Israel said it began "Operation Protective Edge" in order to stop rocket fire from Hama-ruled Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Wednesday to "further intensify the attacks," saying Hamas will "pay heavy price" for the rocket attacks.
More than 785 sites in Gaza were targeted over the past three days, an army spokesperson told Xinhua. The army said the sites were "Hamas command centers" and included at least 11 houses of senior activists in armed Palestinian groups.
The army said it intends to continue attacking the homes of senior militants, saying these sites are being used as "Hamas centers," despite the homes being located in largely civilian areas.
Israel says its bombings are being carried out with the "knock on the roof" procedure, whereby the military fires a small missile at the house it intends to bomb as warning, expecting inhabitants to leave the place, and then bombs the house to destruction. In some cases, a military representative calls the family and instructs them to evacuate the house.
Palestinian medical teams told local media that raids killed about 70 people, 50 of whom were civilians, including women and children.
The UN Security Council is expected to hold later Thursday a meeting on the crisis in Gaza. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that the situation in Gaza "is on knife-edge," urging both sides to end hostilities.
A spokesperson with Hamas said in an interview on Palestinian TV that the organization is in contact with Egyptian officials but so far no solution was offered to them.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he held a talk with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and appealed to him to try to broker a ceasefire agreement, similar to the one reached following the 2012 operation Pillar of Defense.
Abbas accused Israel Wednesday of carrying out "genocide" against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
JERUSALEM, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Hamas fired three rockets on Wednesday evening from the Gaza Strip into Dimona, a southern city where Israel's nuclear reactor is located, causing no injury or damage, the Israeli military said.
Israel's Channel 2 reported that one rocket was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, while the rest fell in open fields. Full story
GAZA, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Operation Protective Edge, launched on Tuesday, shows Israel's determination to get tough on Hamas just as Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and Pillar of Defence in 2012 did. However, the latest Israeli military move also indicates its either ignorance or unwillingness to accept the fact that the issue can only be solved politically.
Shortly after its disengagement from Gaza in 2005, Israel started its odyssey of preventing rocket fire from the Hamas- governed Gaza into southern Israel. It seems that military action becomes the top and the only weapon in Israeli arsenal against Hamas. Unfortunately, this weapon is blunt. Full story