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Israel intensifies attacks in Gaza as conflict enters fifth day Israel intensifies attacks in Gaza as conflict enters fifth day
(32 minutes later)
Israeli ground troops are massing on the border with Gaza after another night of violenceIsraeli ground troops are massing on the border with Gaza after another night of violence
The Israeli military has intensified its assault on Gaza, as Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into Israel on the fifth day of hostilities.The Israeli military has intensified its assault on Gaza, as Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into Israel on the fifth day of hostilities.
Israel's army said air and ground forces were involved in attacks on Friday but had not entered Gaza.Israel's army said air and ground forces were involved in attacks on Friday but had not entered Gaza.
A BBC reporter in Gaza said there was heavy shelling involving gunboats, fighter jets and helicopters.A BBC reporter in Gaza said there was heavy shelling involving gunboats, fighter jets and helicopters.
More than 100 people have been killed in Gaza and seven have died in Israel since fighting began on Monday. More than 100 people have been killed in Gaza and seven in Israel since fighting began on Monday.
Meanwhile, Jewish and Israeli-Arab mobs have been fighting within Israel, prompting its president to warn of civil war.Meanwhile, Jewish and Israeli-Arab mobs have been fighting within Israel, prompting its president to warn of civil war.
Defence Minister Benny Gantz ordered a "massive reinforcement" of security forces to suppress the internal unrest that has seen more than 400 people arrested.Defence Minister Benny Gantz ordered a "massive reinforcement" of security forces to suppress the internal unrest that has seen more than 400 people arrested.
Police say Israeli Arabs have been responsible for most of the trouble and reject the accusation that they are standing by while gangs of Jewish youths target Arab homes.
Who are Hamas?Who are Hamas?
Jewish and Arab mobs spread violenceJewish and Arab mobs spread violence
Conflict cools warming of Arab-Israel tiesConflict cools warming of Arab-Israel ties
Mothers caught in the Israel-Gaza conflictMothers caught in the Israel-Gaza conflict
In Gaza, Palestinians fearing an incursion by Israeli troops have been fleeing areas close to the border with Israel. The Israeli military said it had conducted an operation overnight to destroy a network of Hamas tunnels, but no troops had entered Gaza.
Meanwhile Hamas fired three more volleys amounting to about 55 rockets in total into Israel on Thursday evening. An 87-year-old woman died after falling on her way to a bomb shelter near Ashdod in southern Israel. Other areas including Ashkelon, Beersheba and Yavne were also targeted.
In a statement released early on Friday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli military operation against Palestinian militants in Gaza would continue for as long as necessary. He said Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, would pay a heavy price.In a statement released early on Friday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli military operation against Palestinian militants in Gaza would continue for as long as necessary. He said Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, would pay a heavy price.
A Hamas military spokesman said the group was ready to teach Israel's military "harsh lessons" should it decide to go ahead with a ground incursion.A Hamas military spokesman said the group was ready to teach Israel's military "harsh lessons" should it decide to go ahead with a ground incursion.
This week's violence in Gaza and Israel is the worst since 2014. It was initially fuelled by weeks of Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem which led to clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. This spiralled into an incessant exchange of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes.This week's violence in Gaza and Israel is the worst since 2014. It was initially fuelled by weeks of Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem which led to clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. This spiralled into an incessant exchange of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes.
Shortly after Mr Netanyahu's statement, video footage showed explosions lighting up the sky over Gaza City.
Rocket barrages from Gaza soon followed, with reports of attacks on the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba and Yavne among other areas.
A satellite image shows an overview of Ashkelon, which has been attacked by rockets fired from GazaA satellite image shows an overview of Ashkelon, which has been attacked by rockets fired from Gaza
Hours earlier, Israel's military called up 7,000 army reservists and deployed troops and tanks near its border with Gaza. On Thursday, Israel's military called up 7,000 army reservists and deployed troops and tanks near its border with Gaza. It said a ground offensive into Gaza was one option being considered but a decision had yet to be made.
Israel's military said a ground offensive into Gaza was one option being considered but a decision had yet to be made.
As fighting entered its fifth day, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres called for "an immediate de-escalation and cessation of hostilities in Gaza and Israel".As fighting entered its fifth day, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres called for "an immediate de-escalation and cessation of hostilities in Gaza and Israel".
His plea echoed that of other diplomats whose calls to Israeli and Palestinian leaders have so far failed to produce a ceasefire agreement. His plea echoed that of other diplomats - including from Israel's ally the US - but appeals to Israeli and Palestinian leaders have so far failed to produce a ceasefire agreement.
A senior Hamas official has said the group is ready for a "reciprocal" ceasefire if the international community pressures Israel to "suppress military actions" at the disputed al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Israel deployed additional troops to its border with Gaza on ThursdayIsrael deployed additional troops to its border with Gaza on Thursday
In other developments on Thursday:In other developments on Thursday:
Three rockets were fired from Lebanon into the sea off the coast of northern Israel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. No group claimed the attack but several militant groups operate in Lebanon, including Hezbollah, which fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006Three rockets were fired from Lebanon into the sea off the coast of northern Israel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said. No group claimed the attack but several militant groups operate in Lebanon, including Hezbollah, which fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006
Israel's military said it had hit targets in Gaza that included intelligence buildings, homes and businesses used by militantsIsrael's military said it had hit targets in Gaza that included intelligence buildings, homes and businesses used by militants
Hamas, meanwhile, fired further barrages of rockets towards Israel from Gaza. A spokesman for the group said it had shown "only a small part" of its capabilities A Hamas spokesman said the group had shown "only a small part" of its capabilities
Further violence broke out between Jewish and Israeli Arab groups in mixed towns and cities within Israel
International airlines, including KLM, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have suspended services to Israel. Incoming flights were also diverted south from Tel Aviv's main airportInternational airlines, including KLM, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have suspended services to Israel. Incoming flights were also diverted south from Tel Aviv's main airport
BBC reporters are on the ground in Gaza, Lod and Jerusalem
At least 103 Palestinians have been killed since Monday, including 27 children, and more than 580 wounded, the health ministry in Gaza said. Officials in the territory said many civilians had died.At least 103 Palestinians have been killed since Monday, including 27 children, and more than 580 wounded, the health ministry in Gaza said. Officials in the territory said many civilians had died.
Israel says dozens of those killed in Gaza were militants, and that some of the deaths are from misfired rockets from Gaza.Israel says dozens of those killed in Gaza were militants, and that some of the deaths are from misfired rockets from Gaza.
In the Israeli city of Sderot, a young boy was killed when rocket fire from Gaza hit his home, and shrapnel penetrated the shelter he was hiding in. In the Israeli town of Sderot near Gaza, a young boy was killed when rocket fire hit his home and shrapnel penetrated the shelter he was hiding in.
Israel has also called up 10 reserve border patrol companies to help tackle the worst unrest between Arab and Jewish communities for many years. Political leaders have appealed for calm, and President Reuven Rivlin described the outbreaks of rioting in several towns and cities as "senseless civil war".Israel has also called up 10 reserve border patrol companies to help tackle the worst unrest between Arab and Jewish communities for many years. Political leaders have appealed for calm, and President Reuven Rivlin described the outbreaks of rioting in several towns and cities as "senseless civil war".
BBC reporters are on the ground in Gaza, Lod and Jerusalem
There have been widespread calls for de-escalation, including from Israel's ally the US, but little sign of the conflict easing.
A senior Hamas official said the group was ready for a "reciprocal" ceasefire if the international community pressures Israel to "suppress military actions" at the disputed al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
However, Israeli military spokesman Hilda Zilberman said Israel was not seeking a ceasefire at the current time, the Times of Israel reported.
What caused the violence?What caused the violence?
The fighting between Israel and Hamas was triggered by days of escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a holy hilltop compound in East Jerusalem.The fighting between Israel and Hamas was triggered by days of escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a holy hilltop compound in East Jerusalem.
The site is revered by both Muslims, who call it the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and Jews, for whom it is known as the Temple Mount. Hamas demanded Israel remove police from there and the nearby predominantly Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families face eviction by Jewish settlers. Hamas launched rockets when its ultimatum went unheeded.The site is revered by both Muslims, who call it the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and Jews, for whom it is known as the Temple Mount. Hamas demanded Israel remove police from there and the nearby predominantly Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families face eviction by Jewish settlers. Hamas launched rockets when its ultimatum went unheeded.
Palestinian anger had already been stoked by weeks of rising tension in East Jerusalem, inflamed by a series of confrontations with police since the start of Ramadan in mid-April.Palestinian anger had already been stoked by weeks of rising tension in East Jerusalem, inflamed by a series of confrontations with police since the start of Ramadan in mid-April.
What makes Jerusalem so holy?What makes Jerusalem so holy?
The Israel-Palestinian conflict explainedThe Israel-Palestinian conflict explained
It was further fuelled by the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers and Israel's annual celebration of its capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, known as Jerusalem Day.It was further fuelled by the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers and Israel's annual celebration of its capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, known as Jerusalem Day.
The fate of the city, with its deep religious and national significance to both sides, lies at the heart of the decades-old Israel-Palestinian conflict. Israel in effect annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognised by the vast majority of other countries.The fate of the city, with its deep religious and national significance to both sides, lies at the heart of the decades-old Israel-Palestinian conflict. Israel in effect annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognised by the vast majority of other countries.
Palestinians claim the eastern half of Jerusalem as the capital of a hoped-for state of their own.Palestinians claim the eastern half of Jerusalem as the capital of a hoped-for state of their own.