PALESTINIAN ROCKETS SLAM DEEPER INTO ISRAEL; 67 KILLED IN GAZA
Israel on Wednesday pressed ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, killing as many as 10 senior Hamas military figures and toppling a pair of high-rise towers housing Hamas facilities in a series of airstrikes.
The Islamic militant group showed no signs of backing down and fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities, raining more bombs deep into country, causing airports, schools, banks and commercial centers to shut down, Fares Akram and Josef Federman reported for the Associated Press (AP).
More clashes between marauding Jewish and Palestinian mobs were also reported in Israel. Palestinian officials said the Israelis have killed 67 people in Gaza alone.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized power in Gaza from rival Palestinian forces in 2007.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched an investigation into possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas.
In a brief statement, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she had noted “with great concern” the escalation of violence and “the possible commission of crimes,” Nidal Al-mughrabi and Dan Williams reported for Reuters.
The ICC is looking into Israeli actions in past wars in Gaza. Israel is not a member of the court, does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction and rejects the accusations.
But in theory, the ICC could issue warrants and try to arrest Israeli suspects while traveling overseas.
Saud Abu Ramadan, Sara Lemel and Sebastian Engel also reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) that beleaguered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that it will push its military campaign and possibly invade Gaza.
"This was only the beginning. We will inflict blows on them that they have never dreamed of," he bragged. The military reported its first death in three days of fighting. A 21-year-old Israeli soldier was hit by an anti-tank missile fire originating from Gaza.