Middle East: Israel warns Gaza of ‘significant attack’

Israeli warplanes launch a strike in the Gaza Strip

IDF tells north Gaza residents to leave ‘for their own safety’ as fighting intensifies

LAST UPDATED AT 07:36 ON Sun 13 Jul 2014

Fighting between Israel and Hamas is intensifying this weekend, dashing hopes of a ceasefire.

Israel has told residents in northern Gaza to leave “for their own safety” ahead of a “significant attack” which it says will “increase the amount of casualties”. The Israel Defence Force plans to strike areas from which rockets are launched into its territory, a move it says is planned following consultations with experts in international law.

It has already struck 200 targets in Gaza over the past 24 hours, including 53 underground rocket launchers. It has also hit Gaza's security headquarters and police stations, in the heaviest bombardment since the operation began on July 8.

Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorists fired around 90 rockets into Israel yesterday, bringing the total to around 600 since the fighting began. Israel also faced attack from the north last night, as rockets fired from Lebanon fell in open areas in the Western Galilee.

At least 159 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes during the operation, according to Gaza officials. They are said to include 17 members of one family who died in an Israeli missile strike on Saturday evening. At least five Israelis have been injured this week by rocket and missile attacks, two of them seriously.

The UN Security Council has called for a ceasefire and peace talks. It is the first time since Israel's offensive began that they have issued a statement, with members previously divided on their response.  · 

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