Gaza came under heavy bombardment from Israel last night. At least 30 strikes hit the strip, with buildings used by Hamas particularly targeted. Government ministries, smuggling tunnels, and a Hamas media office were all hit. Israel said it had aimed at Hamas command and control centres, hideouts, meeting places and a communications centre. It is estimated that more than 130 Palestinians have died in this most recent outbreak of hostilities.
Israel also came under attack last night, long-distance strikes hitting neighbourhoods in Rishon Letzion and the southern Israeli port city of Ashdod. Israel says that the number of Israelis living within rocket range of Gaza has leapt from 1 to 3.5 million people.
Otniel Shneller, Kadima party member of Israeli parliament (Knesset) commented: “Israel would like to create peace but for this reason we have to go forward in our activities right now, military activities. Then the atmosphere will be ready to make a right decision on both sides.”
With any ceasefire still to be negotiated, Israeli troops are massed in the countryside around Gaza, poised, say commentators, for a possible order to invade.