Israel - Tanks mass, 30,000 reservists called up
Friday, 16 November 2012

Israel and Hamas continued to trade fire on Friday, with the Gaza militants targeting Jerusalem with a rocket for the first time in history. Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, meanwhile, has pledged support for Gaza.

Air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem on Friday, as Hamas militants said they had fired a long-range rocket at the city - the first attack on the holy city in Hamas’ history. Israeli media reported the rocket landed in an uninhabited zone outside of the city.

In Gaza, Israeli aircraft targeted the rocket-launching operations of Gaza-based militants, the barrage only mildly relenting during a visit to the area by Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil.

Israeli also started to amass tanks and armoured personnel carriers near the border with the Palestinian territory, while Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered up 16,000 out of a possible 30,000 reservists to ready for a broader operation, indicating that a ground invasion might be coming soon.

Across the Red Sea, Egypt threw its support behind Gaza, with President Mohamed Morsi promising that his country would “not leave Gaza on its own" in face of Israel's "blatant aggression against humanity", the MENA news agency reported.

At least 23 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed since the fighting began last week, when Hamas launched rocket strikes against the Jewish state.

Cross-border fighting intensified after an Israeli air strike on Wednesday killed top Hamas commander Ahmed al-Jaabari, triggering a major flare-up in and around the tiny Palestinian enclave that is home to 1.6 million people.


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