Israeli military masses troops along Gaza border

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Israeli military masses troops along Gaza border
A Filipino Muslim looks on during a pro-Palestinian rally in front of the Israeli embassy in Manila on July 15, 2014. Israel's Operation Protective Edge, intended to stamp out militant rocket fire, had killed 186 people in Gaza by late July 14 -- exceeding the toll in the last similar flare-up of violence in 2012. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
TEHRAN, IRAN - JULY 14: Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei meets with president of Iran Hassan Rouhani (not seen) and cabinet ministeriel about the ongoing Israeli military airstrikes on Gaza in Tahran, Iran on July 14, 2014. (Photo by leader.ir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he hosts an Iftar dinner in the State Dinning Room at the White House in Washington on July 14, 2014. Obama said he hopes Egypt's ceasefire plan can restore calm in Gaza at the Iftar dinner, a fast-breaking meal for Muslim devotees during the holy month of Ramadan when the devout abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and any sexual activities from dawn to dusk. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A child of an activist of Jamaat e Islami participates in a protest against Israel's military campaign in Gaza, in Karachi on July 13, 2014. On the sixth day of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip the overall death toll had climbed to 165 with more than 1,000 people injured, as the UN Security Council called on both sides to declare a ceasefire. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he hosts an Iftar dinner in the State Dinning Room at the White House in Washington on July 14, 2014. Obama said he hopes Egypt's ceasefire plan can restore calm in Gaza at the Iftar dinner, a fast-breaking meal for Muslim devotees during the holy month of Ramadan when the devout abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and any sexual activities from dawn to dusk. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows rockets being fired from the Gaza strip into Israel, on July 12, 2014. The world implored Israel and Hamas on July 12 to end hostilities as warplanes pounded Gaza for a fifth straight day, killing at least 30 Palestinians, and militants replied with rockets. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian children inspect graves ahead of the funeral of 18 members of al-Batsh family who were killed the previous night in Israeli strikes that hit their house as they were targeting Hamas police chief Tayseer al-Batsh on July 13, 2014 in Gaza City. Israeli strikes on Gaza killed a teenager and a woman on July 13, medics said, raising the overall death toll to 166 as the punishing air campaign entered its sixth day. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows smoke billowing from buildings following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on July 12, 2014. The world implored Israel and Hamas on July 12 to end hostilities as warplanes pounded Gaza for a fifth straight day, killing at least 30 Palestinians, and militants replied with rockets. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken from Gaza city shows the smoke that results from the launch of a long-range rocket from the north of the city towards Israel on July 12, 2014 following an advance warning of the attack by Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. Gaza militants fired several rockets towards Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the army said, with no reports of injuries, as Israel continued to bomb the coastal enclave. Three of the four Tel Aviv rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system, and the Jerusalem-bound rockets fell short, hitting two West Bank cities. AFP PHOTO /THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish fire at UN storehouse after an Israeli military strike in an area west of Gaza City on July 12, 2014. Israel vowed no let-up in its aerial bombardment of Gaza, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives, as a defiant Hamas rained more rockets on the Jewish state. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish fire at UN storehouse after an Israeli military strike in an area west of Gaza City on July 12, 2014. Israel vowed no let-up in its aerial bombardment of Gaza, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives, as a defiant Hamas rained more rockets on the Jewish state. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish fire at UN storehouse after an Israeli military strike in an area west of Gaza City on July 12, 2014. Israel vowed no let-up in its aerial bombardment of Gaza, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives, as a defiant Hamas rained more rockets on the Jewish state. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers react as they stand atop D9 Armored Bulldozers position along the Israeli Gaza border on July 12, 2014, watching smoke rising following Israeli air strike into the Gaza Strip. The world implored Israel and Hamas on July 12 to end hostilities as warplanes pounded Gaza for a fifth straight day, killing at least 30 Palestinians, and militants replied with rockets. AFP PHOTO /MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man takes a picture of the rubble of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli military strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, on July 12, 2014. Israel vowed no let-up in its aerial bombardment of Gaza, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives, as a defiant Hamas rained more rockets on the Jewish state. AFP PHOTO/THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
A ball of fire is seen following an early morning Israeli air strike, on July 11, 2014, on Rafah in the southern of Gaza strip. Israeli warplanes kept up deadly raids on Gaza but failed to stop Palestinian militants firing rockets across the border, as the United States offered to help negotiate a truce. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli fire fighters extinguish vehicles destroyed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that hit a gas station in the city of Ashdod in southern Israel on July 11,2014. A rocket fired from Gaza hit a petrol station in southern Israel, causing a huge explosion and injuring three people, the army and medics said. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Lebanese Army soldiers dismantle two unfired rockets from their launching site in the area of Majidiyeh, one kilometer from the Israeli border in southern Lebanon, on July 11, 2014. A rocket fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel causing troops to hit back with artillery fire over the border, the Israeli army said. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli fire fighters extinguish vehicles destroyed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that hit a gas station in the city of Ashdod, in southern Israel, on July 11, 2014. A rocket fired from Gaza hit a petrol station in southern Israel, causing a huge explosion and injuring three people, the army and medics said. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Lebanese Army soldiers dismantle two unfired rockets from their launching site in the area of Majidiyeh, one kilometer from the Israeli border in southern Lebanon, on July 11, 2014. A rocket fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel causing troops to hit back with artillery fire over the border, the Israeli army said. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Lebanese Army soldiers dismantle two unfired rockets from their launching site in the area of Majidiyeh, one kilometer from the Israeli border in southern Lebanon, on July 11, 2014. A rocket fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel causing troops to hit back with artillery fire over the border, the Israeli army said. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli fire fighters extinguish vehicles destroyed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that hit a gas station in the city of Ashdod in southern Israel on July 11,2014. A rocket fired from Gaza hit a petrol station in southern Israel, causing a huge explosion and injuring three people, the army and medics said. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli polce bomb technicians stand by a car damaged by a rocket fired from the Gaza strip, hitting the city of Ashdod on July 10, 2014. Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 32 people Thursday as an air war entered its third day, with most of the bloodshed in the southern city of Khan Yunis, medics said. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Vehicles show damage caused by a rocket fired from the Gaza strip, hitting the city of Ashdod on July 10, 2014. Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 32 people Thursday as an air war entered its third day, with most of the bloodshed in the southern city of Khan Yunis, medics said. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli woman looks at damage caused by a rocket fired from the Gaza strip, hitting the city of Ashdod on July 10, 2014. Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 32 people Thursday as an air war entered its third day, with most of the bloodshed in the southern city of Khan Yunis, medics said. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
ASHDOD, ISRAEL - JULY 11: People watch as firefighters try to douse a fire from a rocket that hit a Petrol station on July 11, 2014 in Ashdod, Israel. The Israeli army are into the fourth day of deployments at the border with the Gaza Strip in operation 'Protective Edge'. More than 90 fatalities have been reported in Gaza since the recent escalation of violence in the region, with none reported in Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
ASHDOD, ISRAEL - JULY 11: People watch as firefighters try to douse a fire from a rocket that hit a Petrol station on July 11, 2014 in Ashdod, Israel. The Israeli army are into the fourth day of deployments at the border with the Gaza Strip in operation 'Protective Edge'. More than 90 fatalities have been reported in Gaza since the recent escalation of violence in the region, with none reported in Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Smoke billows from a building following a reported bomb barrel attack by the Syrian airforce, in the eastern Shaar neighborhood of the city of Aleppo, on July 9, 2014. Elite government forces backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah converged July 8 on this northern city as rebels bolstered their own fighters in readiness for a major showdown, a monitor said. AFP PHOTO/AMC/ZEIN AL-RIFAI (Photo credit should read ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken in Gaza City on July 10, 2014 shows a damaged building after it was hit by an Israeli air strike. The Israeli air force overnight hit more than 300 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the besieged Palestinian territory, an army spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man stands inside a damaged building hit by an Israeli air strike on July 10, 2014 in Gaza City. The Israeli air force overnight hit more than 300 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the besieged Palestinian territory, an army spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians inspect damages following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on July 10, 2014. The Israeli air force overnight hit more than 300 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the besieged Palestinian territory, an army spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA, GAZA STRIP, PALESTINE - 2014/07/09: An Israeli missile hits an area in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday. The Israeli army on Wednesday intensified its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing more than a dozen people on the second day of a military operation it says is aimed at quenching rocket fire against Israel. (Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Smoke billows from buildings following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City early on July 10, 2014. The Israeli air force overnight hit more than 300 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the besieged Palestinian territory, an army spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 10: Smoke rises following Israeli air strike targeting Gaza on July 10, 2014. At least 72 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since Monday, according to medical sources. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SDEROT, ISRAEL - JULY 09: (ISRAEL OUT) A plume of smoke rises over Gaza following an Israel Air Force bombing, as seen from near Sderot on July 9, 2014 in Israel. Due to recent escalation in the region, the Israeli army started new deployments at the border with the Gaza Strip. In the past 3 weeks more than 130 rockets where reportedly fired from Gaza into Israel. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 9: A Palestinian child who got injured during the Israeli air strikes targeting Gaza lies on a stretcher at a hospital in Gaza on July 9, 2014. The latest escalations come amid heightened tension over the killing of three teenage Jewish settlers in the West Bank last month and the subsequent murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy by Jewish settlers. (Photo by Khaled Sabbah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A ball of fire is seen following an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 9, 2014. Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 100, emergency services said, as the military began an aerial campaign against militants in the Strip. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 9: Six Palestinians have been killed and 20 others wounded when an Israeli fighter jet targeted a building that belonging to Palestine maritime police in Gaza Strip on July 9, 2014. (Photo by Mustafa Hassaona/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Israeli artillery strikes a Palestinian Hamas police building during an airstrike in Gaza City on July 8, 2014. Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 17 people and wounded more than 100, emergency services said, as the military began an aerial campaign against militants in the Strip. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 9: Six Palestinians have been killed and 20 others wounded when an Israeli fighter jet targeted a building that belonging to Palestine maritime police in Gaza Strip on July 9, 2014. (Photo by Mustafa Hassaona/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Damage caused by a rocket fired from Gaza strip hitting the city of Ashdod, Israel is seen on June 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 9: Six Palestinians have been killed and 20 others wounded when an Israeli fighter jet targeted a building that belonging to Palestine maritime police in Gaza Strip on July 9, 2014. (Photo by Mustafa Hassaona/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Damage caused by a rocket fired from Gaza strip hitting the city of Ashdod, Israel is seen on June 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 8: A Palestinian boy is carried on a stretcher inside a hospital after he was injured in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on July 8, 2014. Seven Palestinians were killed and 25 injured, a number of whom are in critical condition, when an Israeli warplane struck a residential home in the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. The toll from a fresh Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip has risen to 11 dead, 92 injured, a Gaza health official said Tuesday. (Photo by Belal Khaled/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A ball of fire is seen following an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes killed at least 13 Palestinians in Gaza, with Israel weighing 'all options' in a new drive to stamp out Hamas rocket fire as the two sides slid toward another major conflict. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier performs a morning prayer in a deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinian men look at the body of killed Hamas militant Rashad Yassin, 28, in the morgue of the al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza strip, on July 8, 2014. Five Palestinians were killed as Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza at the start of a new campaign to stamp out rocket fire by Hamas militants on southern Israel. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 7: A kite, with the color of Palestinian flag, is seen in the air following rocket fires from Gaza City to Israel after an Israeli air attack to Gaza, on July 7, 2014 in Gaza. Tension has been running up in the region since Wednesday, following the kidnap and killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in a suspected 'revenge' attack by Jewish settlers near Jerusalem. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ASHDOD, ISRAEL - JULY 08: The Iron Dome air-defense system fires to intercept a rocket over the city of Ashdod on July 8, 2014, in Ashdod, Israel. Due to recent escalation in the region, the Israeli army started new deployments at the border with the Gaza Strip. In the past 3 weeks more then 130 rockets where reportedly fired from Gaza into Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers wake up near their military vehicles (unseen) in a deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BANK - JULY 8: Those who were injured during the Israeli airstrikes on July 8, 2014 are being treated at Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis of Gaza, West Bank. At least 22 Palestinians have been wounded in the early hours of Tuesday, July 8 morning in a series of Israeli air, ground and marine operations on the Gaza Strip (Photo by Bilal Khalid/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Palestinian men inspect the site of an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 08, 2014 . The Israeli air force launched dozens of raids on the Gaza Strip overnight after massive rocket fire from the enclave pounded southern Israel, leaving 17 people injured, sources said. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier sleeps with a mosquito net on his face in a deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier performs a morning prayer in an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - JULY 8: Palestinians inspect their house which was damaged in an Israeli air strike in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 8 July, 2014. Israel launched an aerial offensive in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, bombing more than 30 targets including homes and calling it part of a campaign named 'Operation Protective Edge' targeting Hamas Islamist militants firing rockets at the Jewish state. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier performs a morning prayer in an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - JULY 8: Palestinians inspect their house which was damaged in an Israeli air strike in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 8 July, 2014. Israel launched an aerial offensive in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, bombing more than 30 targets including homes and calling it part of a campaign named 'Operation Protective Edge' targeting Hamas Islamist militants firing rockets at the Jewish state. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An Israeli Apache helicopter shoots a missile over the Gaza Strip as seen from Israel's border with Gaza on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BANK - JULY 8: Those who were injured during the Israeli airstrikes on July 8, 2014 are being treated at Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis of Gaza, West Bank. At least 22 Palestinians have been wounded in the early hours of Tuesday, July 8 morning in a series of Israeli air, ground and marine operations on the Gaza Strip (Photo by Bilal Khalid/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Israeli Merkava tanks wait in an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian woman gestures as she stands amidst destruction following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 08, 2014 . The Israeli air force launched dozens of raids on the Gaza Strip overnight after massive rocket fire from the enclave pounded southern Israel, leaving 17 people injured, sources said. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian girl stands in a destroyed building following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 08, 2014 . The Israeli air force launched dozens of raids on the Gaza Strip overnight after massive rocket fire from the enclave pounded southern Israel, leaving 17 people injured, sources said. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers stand on Merkava tanks in an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian boy sits amidst destruction following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 08, 2014 . The Israeli air force launched dozens of raids on the Gaza Strip overnight after massive rocket fire from the enclave pounded southern Israel, leaving 17 people injured, sources said. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers stand on Merkava tanks in an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier performs a morning prayer in an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A destroyed building lies flat on the ground following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 08, 2014 . Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers wake up near their military vehicles (unseen) in a deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier performs a morning prayer in a deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier performs a morning prayer in a deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Palestinians from the Civil Defense shout as they inspect a house which was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Khan Yunis town, in the southern Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Hamas said that 'all Israelis' would be targeted after a deadly strike on a house in the southern city of Khan Yunis killed seven people, among them two teenagers. Medics said another 25 people were wounded in the strike. AFP PHOTO/ SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
The father of killed Hamas militant Rashad Yassin, 28, grieves at the morgue of the al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza strip, on July 8, 2014. Five Palestinians were killed as Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza at the start of a new campaign to stamp out rocket fire by Hamas militants on southern Israel. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers wake up near their military vehicles in a deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO / DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli soldier directs a Merkava tank in an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes overnight after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the border, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian man and a woman inspect the site of an Israeli military strike in in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on July 08, 2014 . Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza with more than 50 strikes after Hamas militants fired scores of rockets over the b order, dragging the two sides towards a major conflict. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
RAFAH, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Eyad Al-Baba/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Belal Khaled/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
GAZA, WEST BAK - JULY 7: 7 from Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades the military arm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported to have been killed and 5 wounded as a result of the Israeli airstrike aiming at Gaza, July 7, 2014. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ASHDOD, ISRAEL - JULY 08: An Iron Dome missile flies to intercept a rocket on July 8, 2014, in Ashdod, Israel. Due to recent escalation in the region, the Israeli army has started new deployments at the border with the Gaza Strip. In the past 3 weeks more than 130 rockets where reportedly fired from Gaza into Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
SDEROT, ISRAEL - JULY 08: Smoke from an Israeli air strike rises over the Gaza Strip on July 8, 2014, in Sderot, Israel. Due to recent escalation in the region, the Israeli army has started new deployments at the border with Gaza. In the past 3 weeks more than 130 rockets where reportedly fired from Gaza into Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
A Palestinian woman makes her way through debris as people inspect the remains of a house belonging to a member of the Islamist Hamas movement following an Israeli air strike on July 8, 2014 in the Gaza strip town of Khan Yunis. Israeli warplanes killed at least 13 Palestinians in Gaza, with Israel weighing 'all options' in a new drive to stamp out Hamas rocket fire as the two sides slid toward another major conflict. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian paramedic shows the remains of four people from the same family after their home was targetted during an Israeli air strike, on July 8, 2014, in the Gaza strip town of Khan Yunis. In the worst strike, a missile slammed into a house in the southern city of Khan Yunis killing seven people, among them two teenagers, and wounding 25, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP. Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbours to gather at the house as a human shield. But shortly afterwards, an F-16 warplane fired a missile that levelled the building.AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian woman carrying a child makes her way through debris as people inspect the remains of a house belonging to a member of the Islamist Hamas movement following an Israeli air strike on July 8, 2014 in the Gaza strip town of Khan Yunis. Israeli warplanes killed at least 13 Palestinians in Gaza, with Israel weighing 'all options' in a new drive to stamp out Hamas rocket fire as the two sides slid toward another major conflict. AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images)
GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 8: A Palestinian youth receives treatment at a hospital after he was injured in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on July 8, 2014. Seven Palestinians were killed and 25 injured, a number of whom are in critical condition, when an Israeli warplane struck a residential home in the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. The toll from a fresh Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip has risen to 11 dead, 92 injured, a Gaza health official said Tuesday. (Photo by Belal Khaled/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A child of an activist of Jamaat e Islami participates in a protest against Israel's military campaign in Gaza, in Karachi on July 13, 2014. On the sixth day of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip the overall death toll had climbed to 165 with more than 1,000 people injured, as the UN Security Council called on both sides to declare a ceasefire. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he hosts an Iftar dinner in the State Dinning Room at the White House in Washington on July 14, 2014. Obama said he hopes Egypt's ceasefire plan can restore calm in Gaza at the Iftar dinner, a fast-breaking meal for Muslim devotees during the holy month of Ramadan when the devout abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and any sexual activities from dawn to dusk. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Attendees listen to US President Barack Obama speak during an Iftar dinner in the State Dinning Room at the White House in Washington on July 14, 2014. Obama said he hopes Egypt's ceasefire plan can restore calm in Gaza at the Iftar dinner, a fast breaking meal for Muslim devotees during their holy month of Ramadan when the devout abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and any sexual activities from dawn to dusk. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
TEHRAN, IRAN - JULY 14: Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei (L) meets with president of Iran Hassan Rouhani and cabinet ministeriel about the ongoing Israeli military airstrikes on Gaza in Tahran, Iran on July 14, 2014. (Photo by leader.ir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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BY JOSEF FEDERMAN AND NAJIB JOBAIN

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel launched its largest offensive in the Gaza Strip in nearly two years, carrying out a blistering aerial assault Tuesday on scores of targets and killing 19 people in what officials called an open-ended operation aimed at ending weeks of heavy rocket fire. As Gaza militants unleashed salvos on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel mobilized forces along the border for a possible ground invasion.

The offensive set off the heaviest fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas since an eight-day battle in November 2012. The militants fired about 160 rockets at Israel, including two intercepted over Tel Aviv, while Israel said it attacked more than 150 sites across Gaza.

Tit-For-Tat Violence Escalates In Gaza

Palestinian medics reported at least 19 dead, including six killed in an airstrike that flattened an apartment building in southern Gaza and set off widespread panic.

In a nationally televised statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said continued rocket attacks on Israeli communities would not be tolerated.

"Therefore I have ordered the military to significantly broaden its operation against Hamas terrorists and against the other terrorist groups inside Gaza," he said. "I call on you to display patience because this operation could take time."

Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies that have engaged in numerous rounds of fighting over the years. But until recently, they had been observing a truce that ended the previous hostilities in 2012.

Tensions have been rising since Palestinian militants kidnapped three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank on June 12. Accusing Hamas of being behind the abductions, Israel launched a crackdown on the group's members in the West Bank and arrested hundreds of people. Hamas, which controls Gaza, responded by stepping up rocket fire.

The situation deteriorated last week after the bodies of the Israeli youths were found, and a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem was abducted and burned to death in what Palestinians believe was a revenge attack. Six Jewish Israelis have been arrested in the killing, and the rocket fire from Gaza has increased in recent days.

The fighting raged throughout the day. In its fiercest attack, an airstrike flattened the home of a Hamas militant in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, reducing the concrete structure into a smoldering pile of rubble.

Panicked residents fled, screaming "God is great." Some had bloody faces, and crying mothers held small children as they ran away. Screaming Palestinians took away motionless bodies. Palestinian medical officials said six people, including two children, were killed.

Late Tuesday, the normally bustling streets of Gaza City were deserted. Fearing an Israeli ground operation, many residents from areas near the border moved to stay with relatives living deeper inside Gaza.

In southern Israel, hundreds of thousands of citizens were ordered to stay close to home because of the rockets. Israeli streets were also quieter in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem after attempted rocket strikes set off air-raid sirens in Israel's two largest cities. The Jerusalem municipality said it was opening special bomb shelters.

Militants twice fired rockets at Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital, sending people scurrying for cover. Both projectiles were intercepted by the "Iron Dome" rocket defense system. The second interception was shown on live TV, as a winding plume of smoke followed the interceptor into the black skies, culminating with a flash.

Late Tuesday, Hamas said it fired a salvo of four rockets toward Jerusalem, and two distant booms could be heard from the city's center. One rocket landed in the Jerusalem area, officials said, and police said there were no injuries.

The army was also checking reports that rockets had flown north of Tel Aviv - which would mark the deepest strikes every carried out by Hamas.

In other violence, the Israeli military said it foiled an attempt by Gaza militants to infiltrate a military base in southern Israel by sea. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said four attackers made it to shore and attacked the base with grenades and automatic rifles before they were killed. An Israeli soldier was slightly wounded.

As Israel built up forces along the border, the government authorized the army to activate up to 40,000 reservists. The army said that about 1,000 soldiers were immediately activated, in addition to an earlier group of 1,500 reservists called into action.

"If we need to go inside in a ground operation, then we will do it. These things are on the table. These options exist. We will not stop anything until the rocket firing ends," said Yitzhak Aharonovitch, the minister for internal security and a member of Netanyahu's inner Security Cabinet. Israel's last ground offensive was in 2009.

Asked by Channel 2 TV if there were any efforts underway to reach a cease-fire, he said: "Not now."

The U.S. State Department condemned the rocket fire on Israeli civilians, defended Israel's right to defend itself, and said it hoped Israel's "strong message" would deter further attacks. "But certainly, our preference is to de-escalate the situation on the ground," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Israel and Hamas, which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that ended the last round of fighting in late 2012.

In Gaza, Abu Obeida, a masked spokesman for Hamas' military wing, accused Israel of violating that agreement and demanded that it halt its airstrikes, its recent crackdown in the West Bank and its opposition to a recent Palestinian unity government that is backed by Hamas.

"In the face of this aggression, we affirm that the Zionist enemy should not dream of calm and stability," he said.

Hamas, however, is far weaker than in 2012. At the time, Egypt was governed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' close ally. Following a military coup in 2013, Egypt's new government is hostile to Hamas and has closed a network of smuggling tunnels that was the group's economic lifeline.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the rival forces of President Mahmoud Abbas. But facing international isolation and an economic crisis, Hamas last month agreed to back a new unity government with Abbas.

Abbas, however, has little real influence over Gaza and Hamas, with an arsenal of thousands of rockets, remains the dominant power there. Smaller and more radical forces than Hamas are also involved in rocket fire from Gaza.

Tuesday's escalation drew condemnations and calls for restraint from around the world.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the indiscriminate multiple rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and demanded an immediate halt to the attacks, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to take necessary measures to stop the violence.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the attacks and urged calm. "The people of Israel have the right to live without constant fear for their security; the people of Gaza also have the right to live in peace," he said.

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Jobain reported from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Ian Deitch contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

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