Israel continued to bombard the Gaza Strip Friday with artillery and airstrikes in response to a new barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-run enclave. More than 100 people have now been killed in Gaza and eight in Israel as the conflict continues to escalate.
Days of violence have seen Israeli soldiers massing on the edge of the territory, though the army stressed there has been no ground incursion.
The Israel Defense Forces tweeted earlier Thursday that “air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip,” and CBS News and other media outlets reported that troops were on the ground. A spokesman for the military later told CBS News that there are currently no ground troops inside the Gaza Strip, but said air and ground troops were carrying out strikes on targets there.
In recent days there’s been carnage in the streets of Israel’s mixed Jewish and Arab cities as neighbor-versus-neighbor violence spreads.
The central city of Lod has seen some of the worst violence. Footage captured on a cellphone shows what the government calls “Jewish extremists” marching through Arab neighborhoods, calling for blood.
“They are moving in our streets they are throwing stones they are shouting at us, they are beating,” said Rana Masimi, an Arab Israeli who teaches English at the local high school.
Shauli Rappaport, who is part of Lod’s Jewish community, says he can’t see a way forward.
The unrest triggered a massive security buildup. Israel’s military said two infantry units and an armored unit were at the Gaza border and plans had been prepared for a potential ground incursion.