Israel intensifies attacks in Gaza as conflict enters fifth day
Israel has intensified its assault on Gaza, as Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into Israel on the fifth day of hostilities.
Israel’s military said air and ground forces were involved in attacks on Friday but had not entered Gaza.
Meanwhile, clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces spread across much of the occupied West Bank.
At least 122 people have been killed in Gaza and eight have died in Israel since the fighting began on Monday.
Jewish and Israeli-Arab mobs have also 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.
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.
This week’s violence in Gaza and Israel is the worst since 2014. It came after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.
In Gaza, Palestinians fearing an incursion by Israeli troops have been fleeing areas close to the border with Israel. Residents who had left Shejaiya in Gaza City said shells had been falling on homes.