- Israeli Army ‘Threatens Ground Invasion’ of Gaza Amid Flare Up in Violence: Reports
The Israeli army has said that it is ready to launch a ground attack on the Gaza Strip, following a major escalation in violence between Israel and Palestinian armed factions. Around 450 rockets have been fired from the besieged Gaza Strip into Israel over the past two days.Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli army spokesman said the 7th brigade of the army had been deployed to the border of the Gaza Strip “on standby for offensive mission”, according to a report by the UK-based Independent.Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday he had ordered the military to launch further strikes on the Gaza Strip. “I instructed the (military) this morning to continue its massive strikes on terror elements in the Gaza Strip and ordered (it) to reinforce the troops around the Gaza Strip with tanks, artillery and infantry forces,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.Israeli aircraft and gunboats have been pounding Gaza with strikes since Saturday which have intensified since.
The escalation started when four Palestinians, including two Hamas militants, were killed by Israeli gunfire during weekly demonstrations at the Gaza Strip’s border. Two Israeli soldiers were also wounded.
At least seven Palestinians have been killed and 47 wounded in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli strikes since Saturday. They include a pregnant mother and her one-year-old daughter.
One Israeli was also killed by a Palestinian rocket in the city of Ashkelon. Israel denied that its airstrikes were responsible for the death of the mother and her daughter, blaming Hamas rockets.
The media office of the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip said that 200 civilian buildings in the had been targeted by the Israeli attack. These include residential buildings, mosques, and media agency offices. Seven buildings have been totally destroyed, including one containing the office of the Turkish Anadolu News Agency.