Israel escalates aerial offensive on Gaza

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Israel escalates aerial offensive on Gaza
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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JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel dramatically escalated its aerial assault in Gaza Thursday hitting hundreds of Hamas targets, and the Palestinians said a family of eight was killed in a strike that destroyed their home. Israel's missile defense system once again intercepted rockets fired by militants at the country's heartland.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Israel struck more than 320 Hamas targets overnight, focusing on underground tunnel networks and rocket launching sites. That brought the total number of targets hit to 750 in three days of the massive offensive. At least 75 Palestinians have been killed.

Lerner said Israel has already mobilized 20,000 reservists for a possible ground operation into Gaza, but for the time being Israel remained focused on maximizing its air campaign. A ground invasion could lead to heavy civilian casualties on the Palestinian side while putting Israeli ground forces in danger.

Neither side is showing any sign of halting their heaviest fighting since an eight-day battle in late 2012. Israel says that Hamas must cease rocket fire from Gaza for Israel to consider a truce. Militants have fired hundreds of rockets, striking across the length of Israel and disrupting life across the country. No one has been seriously harmed as the "Iron Dome" defense system has intercepted at least 70 of the projectiles destined for major population centers.

"The ground option needs to be the last option and only if it is absolutely necessary. It is a carefully designed plan of action," Lerner said.

Palestinian medical officials said a strike early Thursday struck a home in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, killing eight members of a family. The Israeli military also said it struck a car in Gaza carrying three Islamic Jihad militants involved in firing rockets. The militant group confirmed that its men were killed in the strike.

At least 20 civilians have been among the 75 deaths reported by the Health Ministry in Gaza, though the exact number is not known.

Israel accuses militants of deliberately endangering civilians by using homes and other civilian buildings for cover. The military has also directly targeted the homes of known militants that it says are used as command centers, though it says it contacts the families first to evacuate.

Yigal Palmor, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Hamas is firing rockets from "within houses and streets and neighborhoods which are populated with civilians ... exposing these civilians to retaliation and to backfire."

After an overnight lull, militants resumed their barrage toward central and southern Israel. Remnants of a long-range rocket fired from Gaza landed in a gas station in south Tel Aviv after being shot down by Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system.

The longer range of the rockets fired from Gaza has disrupted life across southern and central Israel, where people have been forced to remain close to home, and kindergartens and summer camps have closed.

Besides firing toward Israel's two largest cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Hamas also launched a rocket that reached the town of Zichron Yaakov, more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Gaza.





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