Israel has attacked more than 200 targets in the Gaza Strip since the killing of Hamas military commander-in-chief Ahmed Ja’abari, an army spokesman in Tel Aviv said on Thursday.
The Safa news agency of the Islamist movement that rules Gaza said the death toll in the attacks had risen to 11 Palestinians after three members of the Qassam Brigades died in a pre-dawn raid in the southern Gaza Strip.
Two children and a pregnant woman were among the dead, it said, adding that more than 100 people were injured since the attacks began on Wednesday afternoon. Israel used F-16 war planes, Apache helicopter gunships and naval vessels to shell targets.
About 105 targets were hit before midnight, and more than another 100 were hit overnight, the Israeli army said. Many of them were rocket-launching sites and pits, the army spokesman said.
Rocket fire against Israel continued with scores landing since Wednesday and sirens wailing repeatedly in towns and cities within a range of 40 kilometres from the Gaza Strip.
Batteries of Israel’s Iron Dome short-range missile defence system downed 31 missiles over southern Israel fired by Palestinian armed groups, the army said.
Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over the coastal enclave, warning civilians to stay away from facilities of Palestinian militant groups.
“Important announcement for the residents of the Gaza Strip,” said the leaflets. “For your own safety, take responsibility for yourselves and avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives and facilities and those of other terror organizations that pose a risk to your safety.”