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Israel considers troops in Gaza

July 8, 2014

After a series of airstrikes overnight that targeted militants in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military has announced it is preparing for the possible use of ground troops. Israeli attacks on Gaza are likely to increase.

Israel Panzer vor Gaza 07.07.2014
Image: Reuters

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) provided more details on Tuesday about Operation Protective Edge, an Israeli military offensive targeting alleged militants in the Gaza Strip.

According army spokesman Peter Lerner, 80 rockets and mortars (an example is pictured above) were launched from Gaza into Israel on Monday alone.

Israel's response came in the form of air and naval attacks that were aimed Gaza homes said to belong to militants, concealed rocket launchers, and other militant sites. Around 50 targets in Gaza were hit, according to IDF.

"They chose the direction of escalation," said army spokesman Peter Lerner. "So the mission will go on as long as we feel it is necessary to carry it out. We don't expect it to be a short mission on our behalf."

Lerner added the air mission could be expanded with a "ground mission if required," but all attacks would stop if Hamas ceased its rocket attacks on Israel.

Nine hurt overnight

Nine Palestinian civilians in Gaza were believed to be injured in the overnight offensive from IDF.

Six militants were killed on Monday during an IDF attack on a what it called a "terror tunnel" allegedly used by Hamas to get into Israel.

Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza, confirmed on Monday that it had launched several rockets into Israel. In response,

Israeli has ordered that citizens within a 40-kilometer (25-mile) radius to stay inside.

Bother Lerner and the IDF were active on the network Twitter, and many of their posts with updates on Operation Protective Edge were met with criticism from other Twitter users in the form of direct replies.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri has said Israel would suffer retaliation for the airstrikes.

Since mid-June, fears of tensions between Israel and Hamas militants spiraling out of control have grown after the June 12 abduction and murder of three Israeli teens. An alleged revenge murder of a Palestinian teen last week sparked several days of violent clashes in Jerusalem.

mz/ (dpa, AP, AFP)