The IDF is continuing with its preparations for a possible ground offensive in Gaza, but in the meantime it is pounding the Hamas-ruled territory from the air: Palestinian sources reported that after an hour-long lull Israeli aircraft resumed the attacks throughout the entire Strip with full force.
Palestinian sources said that shortly after 11 pm Thursday Israeli aircraft attacked a structure in the north Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. Three people, including a child, were killed in the strike, the sources claimed. The Palestinian news agency Ma'an said at least six others were wounded in the bombing.
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Meanwhile, Palestinian Islamic Jihad released a video showing the rocket fire on the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
Earlier, Israeli fighter jets and Navy missile boats attacked some 70 underground launching pads designated for firing mid-range rockets (up to 40 kilometers) toward Israel.
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More than 320 targets have been targeted since Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense on Wednesday. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 130 rockets, but some 300 rockets and mortars landed in Israeli territory.
A total of 19 Palestinians have been killed since the IDF launched the operation in Gaza.
Palestinian sources in Gaza reported that the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades in Gaza, Salem Thabet, survived an assassination attempt when Israeli aircraft attacked his home. It was further reported that the IDF hit a generator located in the Shati refugee camp, close to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's home.
The Israeli Defense Ministry has asked the government to authorize the recruitment of 30,000 reserve soldiers ahead of a possible ground incursion. The request was made after rockets were fired toward the Tel Aviv area for the first time since the Gulf War in the early 1990s. There were no reports of injuries in the attack. Rockets were also fired on Rishon Lezion on Thursday for the first time since the army killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari on Wednesday.
Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil is scheduled to visit Gaza on Friday. A spokesman for the President's Office in Cairo said President Mohamed Morsi instructed Kandil to visit the coastal enclave as a show of support for Gaza's residents in the face of the "cruel Israeli aggression."
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org