JERUSALEM (AP) — Fighting between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, with the Israeli military launching what could be a long-term offensive in the Gaza Strip today and Hamas firing a missile at Tel Aviv and trying to attack by sea.
The Israeli operation is in response to rocket fire that has reached deeper into its territory in recent days. The Israeli military today hit more than 100 sites in the Gaza Strip. And it's ready to call up to 40,000 reservists for a possible ground invasion to end the Palestinian barrage.
Palestinian medical officials say at least 15 Palestinians, including three children, were killed in the Israeli attacks from air and sea.
The Israeli military says it has foiled an attempt by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip to infiltrate southern Israel by sea. A military spokesman said four attackers armed with hand grenades and assault rifles were killed today, shortly after coming ashore. One Israeli soldier was lightly injured.
Air raid sirens went off in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital, which sits about 45 miles north of the Gaza Strip. An explosion was heard shortly afterward. Israeli TV stations are reporting that Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system intercepted the rocket. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
159-c-16-(Aron Heller, AP correspondent)-"the rocket attacks"-AP correspondent Aron Heller reports the Israeli military has been given the go-ahead to mobilize up to 40,000 reservists as it steps up an offensive in the Gaza Strip. (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *159 (07/08/14)££ 00:16 "the rocket attacks"
162-c-20-(Aron Heller, AP correspondent)-"the Gaza Strip"-AP correspondent Aron Heller reports the back and forth between Gaza-based militants and the Israeli military is quite familiar to Palestinians and Israelis. (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *162 (07/08/14)££ 00:20 "the Gaza Strip"
201-r-22-(Sound of sirens and muffled recorded warning, as people rushed to take shelter)--Sound of sirens and a muffled recorded warning for people to seek shelter. (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *201 (07/08/14)££ 00:22
180-r-17-(Sound of people shouting and screaming, as the fled an area near an Israeli missile strike)--Sound of shouting and screaming people fleeing running from the site of an Israeli military missile strike that Israel says targeted the home of a Hamas operative involved in earlier rocket fire aimed at southern Israel. (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *180 (07/08/14)££ 00:17
199-a-17-(Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, spokesman, Israel Defense Forces, in AP interview)-"the unfortunate result"-Peter Lerner of the Israeli Defense Forces says they wanted to avoid civilian casualties before firing on a position that left Palestinian civilians, including children, dead. (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *199 (07/08/14)££ 00:17 "the unfortunate result"
200-a-17-(Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, spokesman, Israel Defense Forces, in interview)-"we are required"-Israel Defense Forces spokesman Peter Lerner says rockets fired by Hamas militants in Gaza pose a terrifying threat to Israelis and require a strong military response. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *200 (07/08/14)££ 00:17 "we are required"
181-r-11-(Sound of shouting people, at site of an Israeli military missile strike)--Sound of shouting people frantically trying to rescue victims of an Israeli military missile strike that Israel says was aimed at the home of a Hamas operative. (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *181 (07/08/14)££ 00:11
170-a-15-(Mark Regev (REH'-gehv), spokesman, Israeli prime minister's office, in AP interview)-"and for all"-Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli prime minister, says Israel has good cause to launch its offensive in Gaza after another volley of rocket fire into southern Israel. (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *170 (07/08/14)££ 00:15 "and for all"
161-c-20-(Aron Heller, AP correspondent)-"of rocket attack"-AP correspondent Aron Heller reports there is significant pressure on the Israeli government to do something about the rockets fired from Gaza. (8 Jul 2014)
<<CUT *161 (07/08/14)££ 00:20 "of rocket attack"
APPHOTO DV801: People take shelter in a basement of a hotel in Tel Aviv as air-raid sirens sounded alert after a missile was fired from the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking sites and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion in what Israel says is an operation aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks. (AP Photo/Tomer Appelbaum) ISRAEL OUT (10 Jul 2013)
<<APPHOTO DV801 (07/10/13)££
APPHOTO HM112: Palestinians bring a wounded man to a hospital in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. The Israeli military launched what could be a long-term offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday striking nearly 100 sites in Gaza and mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion aimed at stopping a heavy barrage of rocket attacks against Israel. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) (8 Jul 2014)
<<APPHOTO HM112 (07/08/14)££