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Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.

There is no end in sight to Israel’s effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“I will end it when our goals are realized,” he said. “And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet.”

Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.

One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.

Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.

Israel’s allies have backed the country’s right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

“We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: “We are weighing every possibility.”

Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s massive air campaign in Gaza topped 100 people Friday as rockets fired by militants reached deeper into Israel – and for the first time in the fighting, struck from neighboring Lebanon.

Gaza militants already have fired more than 550 rockets against Israel in the offensive. The Israeli military says it has hit more than 1,100 targets, mostly what it identified as rocket-launching sites, bombarding the territory on average every five minutes.

In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike Friday hit the home of a well-known Islamic Jihad leader. Gaza health officials said strikes overnight killed a total of eight people, raising the death toll to at least 98. A later strike pushed the tally over 100 to go along with some 670 wounded, officials said.

In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, residents sifted through the remains of a four-story building that was struck and scattered for cover as another airstrike landed nearby.

Rocket fire continued in earnest from Gaza toward various locations in southern and central Israel, including toward Israel’s international airport. The commercial center of Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport also heard warning sirens Friday but these rockets were intercepted and there was no disturbance to Israel’s air traffic. Hamas says it intends to fire rockets at the airport and warned foreign airlines to stop flying to Israel.

Israel has shot down at least 110 incoming rockets thus far with its “Iron Dome” defense system.

Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person and sending large plumes of smoke into the air.

In northern Israel, rocket fire struck near the Lebanese border and the military responded with artillery fire toward the source in southern Lebanon, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.

The Lebanese military said militants there fired three rockets toward Israel around 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) and the Israelis retaliated by firing about 25 artillery shells on the area.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said that one of the militants firing the rockets was wounded and rushed to a hospital. The Lebanese military said troops found two rocket launchers and dismantled them.

Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has battled Israel numerous times. However, recent fire from Lebanon has been blamed on radical Palestinian factions in the area and Hezbollah has not been involved in the ongoing offensive.

A pair of Lebanon-based al-Qaida-linked groups, the Battalions of Ziad Jarrah and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, has claimed responsibility in the past for similar rocket attacks on Israel.

Israel launched the Gaza offensive to stop incessant rocket fire that erupted after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank and a Palestinian teenager was abducted and burned to death in an apparent reprisal attack.

Lerner said the military was doing its utmost to prevent civilian casualties, calling inhabitants ahead of time to warn of imminent attacks. He said Israeli forces also fire “non-explosive munitions” at roofs as a warning and looks for people to leave before destroying a structure.

Lerner blamed Hamas for the death of innocent bystanders by firing from heavily populated areas.

Israel’s military “uses its weapons to defend its civilians. Hamas uses its civilians to defend its weapons,” he said.

Military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Hamas was “sinking into its own disaster,” while Israel was deploying its military might “not without reasoning, not without thinking, not without taking into account there are civilians in Gaza.”

Israeli leaders are mulling whether to launch a ground assault in Gaza to target Hamas. Such a move, though, would likely involve a rise in Palestinian civilian casualties and put Israeli troops at risk as well. Israel has mobilized more than 30,000 reservists to supplement the potential ground operation.

During a ground incursion in early 2009, hundreds of civilians were killed and both sides drew war crimes accusations in a United Nations report.

Middle East envoy Tony Blair said efforts were being made to try and reach a truce.

“We are in a critical point,” he said. “I think we have got to do everything we can to … create a situation in which the people in Gaza and the West Bank and in Israel feel that this is not then going to recur and there is some genuine plan in place.”

Associated Press writers Bassem Mroue in Beirut and Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s massive air campaign in Gaza topped 100 people Friday as rockets fired by militants reached deeper into Israel – and for the first time in the fighting, struck from neighboring Lebanon.

Gaza militants already have fired more than 550 rockets against Israel in the offensive. The Israeli military says it has hit more than 1,100 targets, mostly what it identified as rocket-launching sites, bombarding the territory on average every five minutes.

In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike Friday hit the home of a well-known Islamic Jihad leader. Gaza health officials said strikes overnight killed a total of eight people, raising the death toll to at least 98. A later strike pushed the tally over 100 to go along with some 670 wounded, officials said.

In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, residents sifted through the remains of a four-story building that was struck and scattered for cover as another airstrike landed nearby.

Rocket fire continued in earnest from Gaza toward various locations in southern and central Israel, including toward Israel’s international airport. The commercial center of Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport also heard warning sirens Friday but these rockets were intercepted and there was no disturbance to Israel’s air traffic. Hamas says it intends to fire rockets at the airport and warned foreign airlines to stop flying to Israel.

Israel has shot down at least 110 incoming rockets thus far with its “Iron Dome” defense system.

Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person and sending large plumes of smoke into the air.

In northern Israel, rocket fire struck near the Lebanese border and the military responded with artillery fire toward the source in southern Lebanon, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.

The Lebanese military said militants there fired three rockets toward Israel around 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) and the Israelis retaliated by firing about 25 artillery shells on the area.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said that one of the militants firing the rockets was wounded and rushed to a hospital. The Lebanese military said troops found two rocket launchers and dismantled them.

Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has battled Israel numerous times. However, recent fire from Lebanon has been blamed on radical Palestinian factions in the area and Hezbollah has not been involved in the ongoing offensive.

A pair of Lebanon-based al-Qaida-linked groups, the Battalions of Ziad Jarrah and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, has claimed responsibility in the past for similar rocket attacks on Israel.

Israel launched the Gaza offensive to stop incessant rocket fire that erupted after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank and a Palestinian teenager was abducted and burned to death in an apparent reprisal attack.

Lerner said the military was doing its utmost to prevent civilian casualties, calling inhabitants ahead of time to warn of imminent attacks. He said Israeli forces also fire “non-explosive munitions” at roofs as a warning and looks for people to leave before destroying a structure.

Lerner blamed Hamas for the death of innocent bystanders by firing from heavily populated areas.

Israel’s military “uses its weapons to defend its civilians. Hamas uses its civilians to defend its weapons,” he said.

Military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Hamas was “sinking into its own disaster,” while Israel was deploying its military might “not without reasoning, not without thinking, not without taking into account there are civilians in Gaza.”

Israeli leaders are mulling whether to launch a ground assault in Gaza to target Hamas. Such a move, though, would likely involve a rise in Palestinian civilian casualties and put Israeli troops at risk as well. Israel has mobilized more than 30,000 reservists to supplement the potential ground operation.

During a ground incursion in early 2009, hundreds of civilians were killed and both sides drew war crimes accusations in a United Nations report.

Middle East envoy Tony Blair said efforts were being made to try and reach a truce.

“We are in a critical point,” he said. “I think we have got to do everything we can to … create a situation in which the people in Gaza and the West Bank and in Israel feel that this is not then going to recur and there is some genuine plan in place.”

Associated Press writers Bassem Mroue in Beirut and Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.

Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel

KDWN

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s massive air campaign in Gaza topped 100 people Friday as rockets fired by militants reached deeper into Israel – and for the first time in the fighting, struck from neighboring Lebanon.

Gaza militants already have fired more than 550 rockets against Israel in the offensive. The Israeli military says it has hit more than 1,100 targets, mostly what it identified as rocket-launching sites, bombarding the territory on average every five minutes.

In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike Friday hit the home of a well-known Islamic Jihad leader. Gaza health officials said strikes overnight killed a total of eight people, raising the death toll to at least 98. A later strike pushed the tally over 100 to go along with some 670 wounded, officials said.

In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, residents sifted through the remains of a four-story building that was struck and scattered for cover as another airstrike landed nearby.

Rocket fire continued in earnest from Gaza toward various locations in southern and central Israel, including toward Israel’s international airport. The commercial center of Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport also heard warning sirens Friday but these rockets were intercepted and there was no disturbance to Israel’s air traffic. Hamas says it intends to fire rockets at the airport and warned foreign airlines to stop flying to Israel.

Israel has shot down at least 110 incoming rockets thus far with its “Iron Dome” defense system.

Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person and sending large plumes of smoke into the air.

In northern Israel, rocket fire struck near the Lebanese border and the military responded with artillery fire toward the source in southern Lebanon, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.

The Lebanese military said militants there fired three rockets toward Israel around 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) and the Israelis retaliated by firing about 25 artillery shells on the area.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said that one of the militants firing the rockets was wounded and rushed to a hospital. The Lebanese military said troops found two rocket launchers and dismantled them.

Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has battled Israel numerous times. However, recent fire from Lebanon has been blamed on radical Palestinian factions in the area and Hezbollah has not been involved in the ongoing offensive.

A pair of Lebanon-based al-Qaida-linked groups, the Battalions of Ziad Jarrah and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, has claimed responsibility in the past for similar rocket attacks on Israel.

Israel launched the Gaza offensive to stop incessant rocket fire that erupted after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank and a Palestinian teenager was abducted and burned to death in an apparent reprisal attack.

Lerner said the military was doing its utmost to prevent civilian casualties, calling inhabitants ahead of time to warn of imminent attacks. He said Israeli forces also fire “non-explosive munitions” at roofs as a warning and looks for people to leave before destroying a structure.

Lerner blamed Hamas for the death of innocent bystanders by firing from heavily populated areas.

Israel’s military “uses its weapons to defend its civilians. Hamas uses its civilians to defend its weapons,” he said.

Military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Hamas was “sinking into its own disaster,” while Israel was deploying its military might “not without reasoning, not without thinking, not without taking into account there are civilians in Gaza.”

Israeli leaders are mulling whether to launch a ground assault in Gaza to target Hamas. Such a move, though, would likely involve a rise in Palestinian civilian casualties and put Israeli troops at risk as well. Israel has mobilized more than 30,000 reservists to supplement the potential ground operation.

During a ground incursion in early 2009, hundreds of civilians were killed and both sides drew war crimes accusations in a United Nations report.

Middle East envoy Tony Blair said efforts were being made to try and reach a truce.

“We are in a critical point,” he said. “I think we have got to do everything we can to … create a situation in which the people in Gaza and the West Bank and in Israel feel that this is not then going to recur and there is some genuine plan in place.”

Associated Press writers Bassem Mroue in Beirut and Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.