JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s defense minister is warning that the offensive in the Gaza Strip will be long-term — and he says it will “expand in the coming days.”
Israel again struck Hamas sites in Gaza today, the second day of a military operation it says it aimed at stopping rocket fire against Israel. The Palestinians say at least 14 people were killed.
Israel’s military says it struck about 200 Hamas targets today. But militants continued to fire rockets deep into Israeli territory. Israel has mobilized thousands of troops along the Gaza border ahead of a possible ground operation.
After a meeting of his Security Cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s army is “ready for all possibilities.”
As the fighting stepped up, Egypt said it was in contact with both sides to end the violence. Egypt often serves as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.
The fighting is the heaviest between Israel and Hamas since an eight-day battle in November of 2012.
113-a-16-(Mark Regev (REH’-gehv), spokesman, Israeli prime minister, in interview)-“dismantle that machine”-Mark Regev, the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman, says Hamas has increased its rocket range and is now aiming at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (9 Jul 2014)
112-a-16-(Mark Regev (REH’-gehv), spokesman, Israeli prime minister, in AP interview)-“live in fear”-Mark Regev, the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman, says Israel is trying to end the threat of Hamas rocket fire. (9 Jul 2014)
111-c-20-(Daniel Estrin, AP correspondent)-“security killed them”-AP correspondent Daniel Estrin reports Hamas is promising to continue the barrage of rockets fired into southern Israel and beyond. (9 Jul 2014)
GRAPHICSBANK: Israel and Palestinian Hamas flags, on texture, lettering ISRAEL-HAMAS CONFLICT, finished graphic (8 Jul 2014)
APPHOTO DV108: Smoke trails are seen after missiles were fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza City towards southern Israel, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing at least 11 people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) (9 Jul 2014)
APPHOTO KH122: Palestinian children walk in the rubble of a destroyed house a day after an Israeli strike, in the town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing more than a dozen people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (9 Jul 2014)
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