At least 98 Palestinians have been killed as Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip reaches its fourth day.
Another 500 Palestinians have been wounded.
Israel has carried out more than 900 raids since Tuesday in the offensive it is dubbing “Operation Protective Edge”
The Israeli military claims more than 470 rockets have been fired by Hamas since Tuesday. No Israelis are understood to have been killed by rockets.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was pleased with the progress:
“So far we the battle is progressing as planned but we can expected (more) stages in the future. Until now we have hit Hamas and the terror organisations hard and as the battle continues we will increase our strikes at them.”
Israel appears to be preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza, massing its troops along the border and calling up around 20,000 reservists.
The US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, says a ground assault is “no one’s preference” but laid any blame squarely with the Palestinians, saying “I would remind you who is at fault here, and that is Hamas.”
Palestinian officials have warned that a ground assault would cost “thousands of lives” and be “the most bloody massacre ever” in the region.