Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with 180 air strikes early today, thus intensifying a massive attack on militant operations to include the Prime Minister’s headquarters, a police compound and smuggling tunnels.
The attacks follow a never-before rocket strike aimed at the holy city of Jerusalem that raised the stakes in Israel’s violent confrontation with Palestinian militants. Israeli aircraft also kept pounding their original targets, the militants’ weapons storage facilities and underground rocket launching sites. The Israeli military called up thousands of reservists and massed troops, tanks and armoured vehicles along the border with Hamas-ruled Gaza, signalling a ground invasion could be imminent.
Militants, undaunted by the heavy damage the Israeli attacks have inflicted, have unleashed some 500 rockets against the Jewish state, including new, longer-range weapons turned for the first time this week against Jerusalem and Israel’s Tel Aviv heartland.