Israel air and ground troops attacking in Gaza Strip, reports say

Israel air and ground troops attacking in Gaza Strip, reports say

As hostilities entered their fifth day, with no sign of abating, the Israeli military said in a statement shortly after midnight that air and ground forces were attacking the Hamas-run enclave.

Israel Defense Forces increased their attack on the Gaza Strip late Thursday night.

While visiting a rocket defense battery this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops to be prepared for an extended battle against Hamas.

"The aim of that joint activity of air and ground forces was to deliver a severe blow to Hamas's underground tunnel system, which we refer to as the 'metro, ' which is essentially a city beneath the city of Gaza", he said. The Palestinian Safa Press Agency tweeted a video of a march in Nablus against the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip.

The United Nation's Security Council is planning to hold an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the increasing violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza.

Gaza's health ministry has said that a total of 103 people, including 27 children, have been killed since the Israeli airstrikes began from Monday.

Inside Israel, seven people have been killed since Monday, including one six-year-old, after a rocket struck a family home.

The South Korean government on Thursday expressed concerns over escalating violence and civilian deaths amid military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians militants have fired some 1,800 rockets and the military has launched more than 600 airstrikes, toppling at least three apartment blocks. Gen. Hidai Zilberman, said troops were massing along the Gaza border for a possible ground operation.

Men walk on the rubble of a residential building in Gaza City destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.

Gaza militants fired a volley of rockets toward Ben-Gurion International Airport late Thursday, but no hits were reported there.

The tensions have spilled over into the West Bank, where bloody street fights have broken out in several Arab-Jewish cities. Jewish and Arab mobs violently clashed in the town of Lod.

"There was an internal miscommunication for which I ... take personal responsibility", he said.

"IDF air and ground forces are carrying out strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip". Rocket alarms went off across southern Israel in the cities of Ashdod and Beersheba early Friday, with Hamas saying it shot off 50 rockets toward the area, the Times of Israel newspaper reported. "Israel has every right to defend itself against Hamas", DeSantis told reporters Wednesday.

As diplomats from the Middle East, Europe and the United States tried to broker a cease-fire before the conflict spiraled even further, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres called for calm, citing Thursday's Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Hamas took control of Gaza and its 2 million Palestinians in 2007. Blinken also called for de-escalation.

Although the unrest in Jerusalem was the trigger for hostilities, Palestinians are frustrated by setbacks to their aspirations for an independent state in recent years, including Washington's recognition of disputed Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Russian President Vladimir Putin and United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres appealed for an end to the fighting.

In a nationally televised speech, Netanyahu said Israel was fighting "a campaign on two fronts", one of which was Gaza.

During a conversation Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced support for the Palestinians.

The directorate said Erdogan suggested to Putin that the establishment of an worldwide force to protect the Palestinians should be considered.

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