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Israel expands Gaza offensive

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Israel expands Gaza offensive


Israel is stepping up its ground offensive in Gaza in the wake of a Palestinian rocket attack.

The makeshift missile, manufactured by Hamas, struck deeper into Israel than ever before.

Already under pressure as he tries to force the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, abducted by militants 10 days ago, Israel’s prime minister said the strike would have “far-reaching implications” and that Hamas would be the first to feel them.

Ehud Olmert ordered that the Gaza operation be expanded after a meeting of his security cabinet.

“The rules of the game in dealing with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas must be changed,” said a statement from his office.

The upgraded Hamas rocket hit a schoolyard in Ashkelon. It is the first time a major Israeli city has been hit. No one was injured.

In Gaza meanwhile, children have been among those protesting on the streets, amid anger aimed at the United States and accusations that the international community has remained passive in the face of Israel’s military campaign.

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