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Netanyahu: Israel to 'further intensify' attacks on Gaza

July 9, 2014 6:08 A.M. (Updated: July 9, 2014 10:48 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Wednesday to ramp up an Israeli assault on Gaza that has so far killed at least 43 Palestinians.

"We have decided to further intensify the attacks on Hamas and the terror organizations in Gaza," his office quoted him as saying after consulting defense chiefs in southern Israel.

"The army is prepared for any eventuality," he added.

"Hamas will pay a heavy price for the firing of rockets at Israeli civilians. Security for the citizens of Israel is first and foremost."

Wednesday was the second day of Israel's Operation Protective Edge.

Israel warplanes have so far hit 550 targets in Gaza, and Hamas fighters have hit back with 165 rockets, some of which struck Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and as far away as Hadera, 116 kilometers to the north of the coastal enclave.

Palestinian fatalities include fighters but also women and children. More than 370 people have been wounded.

Eight Palestinians were killed when on Tuesday when a missile slammed into a family home in Khan Younis, including three children.

Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbors to gather at the house as a human shield and that, shortly afterwards, an F-16 warplane fired a missile that leveled the building.

The house belonged to the al-Kaware family.

On Wednesday, an Israeli airstrike on the al-Maghazi refugee camp killed a family of three, with another two children reported missing.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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