Hundreds Of Air Strikes And Hundreds Of Rockets Fired Between Israel And Gaza As Violence Intensifies

As Israel’s Operation Defensive Edge ended its third day, Israeli and Palestinian civilians have been warned that there is no end in sight to the escalating violence.

1. Israeli air strikes hit sites in Gaza, while missiles were fired by militants in Gaza onto southern Israeli communities on Thursday. But the senior Israeli and Palestinian leadership said they were not discussing a ceasefire.

Stringer / Reuters

2. In the skies above Gaza, plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the sites of Israeli air strikes. More than 75 people have been killed in Gaza over three days of air strikes, and hundreds more have been wounded.

Stringer / Reuters

3. In southern and central Israeli cities, the wails of sirens were heard by more than one million Israelis, spurring them to run for shelters and covered areas in fear of incoming rockets.

Baz Ratner / Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that a ceasefire is “not even on the agenda.”

Speaking from his home in Qatar, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal offered to renew the 2012 ceasefire based on three conditions: an end to the Israeli offensive, the release of prisoners initially freed under a prisoner swap but recently re-arrested in Israeli raids, and Israeli respect for the Palestinian unity government. Israeli officials have rejected Meshaal’s terms.

4. In Israel’s densely populated center, cities more than 100 miles to the north of Gaza came under fire. “We have had to tell the kids about rockets, about war. That’s not something any parent wants,” said Amir Yechud, a father of three in Tel Aviv.

Baz Ratner / Reuters

5. In Gaza, at least 14 children have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. In Khan Younis, six children were killed when an Israeli missile hit their home. “Why do we have to keep explaining death to our children?” asked Ahmed Taha, a father of three in Gaza.

Stringer / Reuters

6. Israeli officials said on Thursday that more than 400 tons of explosives had been dropped on Gaza, in many cases targeting the homes of people Israel believed had an official role within Hamas.

Stringer / Reuters

7. Human rights groups, including the Israeli NGO B’tselem, have said that the targeting of homes could violate international law.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

“Bombing the homes of senior activists in armed groups violates international humanitarian law, which provides a narrow definition of what constitutes a legitimate target and permits aiming attacks only at targets that effectively assist military efforts, when damaging them can provide a military advantage,” said B’tselem in a statement. “Treating these homes as legitimate targets is an unlawful, distorted interpretation of the concept, resulting in harm to civilians, whom this body of law is intended to protect.”

8. In Israel, many called for the army to launch a ground invasion of Gaza. “We can’t keep going through this every few years. I don’t care what they hit in Gaza through airstrikes, just do what it takes,” said Alon Mizrahi, a 28-year-old student in Sderot.

Stringer/Israel / Reuters

9. Both sides have used social media to argue their cause, releasing statements via Twitter, photos on Instagram, and videos. In this short video, militants in Gaza show off a new missile launcher.

10. Israel’s military spokesman has released videos showing airstrikes and other operations in Gaza. “We have nothing to hide,” said a statement from the IDF spokesman’s office.

In this video, released by the IDF on Wednesday, Hamas naval commandos are shown attempting to enter Israel’s Kibbutz Zikim by sea, before being gunned down by an Israeli helicopter.

11. In Gaza, taxi driver Hamed Hawada asked, “What more can Israel do?” He said he lost two children during the 2008 offensive into Gaza, and a brother in 2012. “We have no protection, and no hope, only god can save us,” he said.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

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