As Israel continues to try to shield itself from Palestinian rockets – and strike back at Gaza – reports quoting a senior official say that a ground invasion of the territory is highly likely.
As the funeral was held of the first Israeli victim of the current violent spiral, word was being put out that air strikes could only achieve so much.
Following the death of Dror Hanin, 37, as he tried to distribute food to soldiers near a Gaza border crossing, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “expand and intensify the war”.
Instead of a truce, the talk now is of more military preparations. Israel has called up thousands more reservists.
Meanwhile Palestinian officials say four children died on a Gaza beach, while another boy was badly wounded, when they were hit by shellfire from an Israeli gunboat.
Israel says it is investigating.
The week-long Israeli strikes against Gaza are now said to have killed more than 200 Palestinians.
In Gaza the latest of several funerals were held, including that of a five-month-old girl. The Palestinians say over 20 people were killed on Wednesday.
Israel has urged the evacuation of several areas in the Gaza Strip where some 100,000 people live, as it prepares more military action.
Meanwhile Hamas has formally rejected the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire, dead in the water since Tuesday.