JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli leaders are signaling that a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip could be quickly approaching. Israel's intelligence minister told Israel Radio that his country "will have to take over Gaza temporarily, for a few weeks."
For a second day today, Israel today struck targets in Gaza as part of what Israel says is an effort to stop rocket attacks. Palestinian officials say more than 20 people were killed.
Militants in Gaza, meanwhile, continue to fire rocket salvos deep into Israeli territory.
Israel now has thousands of troops along the Gaza border ahead of a possible ground operation. But despite the tough threats, Israeli security officials are still hesitant about ordering a ground invasion due to the many risks. The invasion could bring heavy civilian casualties on the Palestinian side, while putting Israeli ground forces in danger.
Of the 49 people who Palestinian medics say have been killed in Gaza since the Israeli operation began, medical officials have confirmed at least 15 are civilians and 10 are militants. There's no definitive word on the others. The rocket fire from Gaza, meanwhile, hasn't caused any serious Israeli casualties.
175-r-15-(Sound of repeated explosions of Israeli missiles, from video overlooking rooftops of Gaza)--Sound of the repeated explosions of Israeli missiles fired at Hamas targets in Gaza. (9 Jul 2014)
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174-r-29-(Sound of a man speaking in Hebrew, then women screaming as sirens wail in the background, from amateur video shot at an Israeli wedding)--Sound of a man speaking in Hebrew, then women screaming as sirens wail in the background and Israeli wedding guests run for cover. (9 Jul 2014)
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APPHOTO CAIMA314: Israeli missiles hit smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies and have fought numerous times over the years. But until recently they had been observing a truce that ended the previous hostilities in 2012.(AP Photo/Hatem Ali) (9 Jul 2014)
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APPHOTO ASC110: A rocket fired by Palestinian militants from inside the Gaza Strip makes its way towards Israel, seen from the Israel-Gaza border on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Israel stepped up its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Wednesday, pummeling scores of targets and killing more than 20 people as Israeli leaders signaled a weeks-long ground invasion could be quickly approaching. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) (9 Jul 2014)
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