Israel Intensifies Strikes On Gaza, Israel launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the military said, striking at least 50 sites in Gaza by air and sea and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in order to quell rocket attacks on Israel.
The army said its offensive, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” is aimed at striking Hamas and ending the rocket fire that has intensified in recent weeks amid tensions over the killing of three Israeli teenagers and the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager.
Nearly 300 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel in recent weeks, including a barrage of about 80 projectiles on Monday alone, the army said. Israel has responded with dozens of airstrikes, and eight Palestinian militants were killed Monday. Israel had signaled that it would not launch a larger offensive if the militant group Hamas ceased the rocket fire.
“They chose the direction of escalation,” said army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. “So the mission will go on as long as we feel it is necessary to carry it out. We don’t expect it to be a short mission on our behalf.”