The Israeli airstrikes come after a week of high tension, and warnings from Israel that it was ready to use its military force. A six-month-old truce expired in Gaza just over a week ago, and since then at least six militants have been killed by Israeli attacks. Palestinians have fired dozens of rockets and mortar shells from Gaza into Israel, causing some damage but mostly panic among residents.
The opening up of the Gaza border crossing to let in essential supplies was not enough to reduce the tension. On Thursday the Israeli Prime Minister warned Hamas to stop the firing of the rockets or pay a heavy price. Yesterday about a dozen rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza. One misfired, hitting a home in northern Gaza. Two young Palestinian sisters were killed.