Over 100 killed in Gaza as rockets fall on Israel
ARON HELLER, AP
Sat Jul 12, 2:19 AM UTC
JERUSALEM (AP) — With the official Palestinian count of the dead passing 100, and rockets fired by militants striking Israel from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon, Israel's prime minister on Friday brushed off a question about cease-fire efforts.
There is no end in sight to Israel's effort to halt militant rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
"I will end it when our goals are realized," he said. "And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet."
Israel says it launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of rocket fire from Gaza. At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.
Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.
One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in southern Israel, wounding three people, one seriously, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 129 incoming projectiles.
Also Friday, the Lebanese military said militants fired three rockets into northern Israel. The Israeli military responded with artillery fire.
Israel's allies have backed the country's right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. And the top U.N. human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.
"We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes," said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.
Netanyahu said the Israeli airstrikes are aimed at military targets. He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.
Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: "We are weighing every possibility."
Associated Press writer Najib Jobain in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to this report.
View Next Article: In war-struck Gaza, civilians struggle to get by
Most Popular News
Fighting intensifies near MH17 disaster site
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian armed forces mounted a major onslaught against pro-Russian separatist fighters Sunday in an attempt to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month.
US: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border.
Key World War I battle re-enacted in Poland
SZKOTOWO, Poland (AP) — About 200 history enthusiasts from across Europe have gathered on hilly area in Poland to reconstruct the Battled of Tannenberg, an engagement between the Russian and German Empires in the first days of World War I.
In Chinese shadow, Hong Kong fights for its future
HONG KONG (AP) — As skyscrapers around Hong Kong harbor erupted into a reverie of laser beams and giant digital displays during their synchronized nightly light show, one innocuous 28-story building near the water's edge had stayed dark for months, clad in bamboo scaffolding for a face-lift.