AAA  Jul. 9, 2014 1:53 AM ET
Israel hits key Hamas targets in Gaza offensive
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Smoke and a ball of fire rises after an Israeli missile strike in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, 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. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to halt the airstrikes immediately and appealed for calm, however he has little influence over a Gaza Strip that is ruled by Hamas militants who violently overthrew forces loyal to him in 2007. Smaller and more radical forces than Hamas are also involved in rocket fire from Gaza. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
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(AP) — The Israeli army says it has intensified its offensive on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, striking key Hamas sites in the second day of an operation aimed at quelling rocket fire against Israel.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner says warplanes early Wednesday attacked more than 130 sites including Hamas command centers and rocket launchers.

Lerner says at least four rockets were fired at Israel overnight, a decline from the large barrage the evening before. Air raid sirens wailed in Tel Aviv and southern Israel early Wednesday.

Gaza health official Ashraf Al-Kedra says overnight airstrikes killed one militant in south Gaza and an Islamic Jihad operative and five relatives in northern Gaza.

Israel is mobilizing troops for a possible ground invasion of the Palestinian territory to stop the rocket fire.

Associated Press
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