Middle East violence intensifies

  • An Israeli soldier drives an armored personnel carrier to a position near Israel Gaza Border, July 10, 2014.
  • Palestinians try to salvage their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City Tuesday, July 8, 2014.
  • Palestinians carry their belongings from a house which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip July 10, 2014.
  • Relatives and friends of the al-Kaware family mourn over one of the 7 members of the family during their funeral in Khan Yunis, in the Gaza Strip, on July 9, 2014. The father, a member of the Fatah movement, and his 6 young sons were all killed the day before in an Israeli air strike that targeted their home.
  • Israeli soldiers put out a fire that broke out after a rocket landed outside the central Gaza Strip July 9, 2014.
  • Israeli missiles hit smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 9, 2014.
  • Asma weeps at the funeral of her brother, Gomha Abu Shalouf, 27, a member of the Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, who was killed in an airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip on Monday, July 7, 2014.
  • A rocket is launched from the coastal strip into Israel by militants of Ezz Al-Din Al Qassam militia, the military wing of Hamas movement, in Gaza City, July 9, 2014.
  • Israeli soldiers drive on an armored personnel carrier near the Israel and Gaza Strip border, Monday, July 7, 2014. The Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza vowed revenge on Israel for the death of several of its members killed in an airstrike early Monday morning in the deadliest exchange of fire since the latest round of attacks began weeks ago. About a dozen rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza overnight the military said.
  • Masked militants march with guns as they attend the funeral of the two Fatah militants, Marwan Sleem and Mazin Al-Jarba who were killed by an Israeli airstrike, in Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Monday, July, 7, 2014.
  • Palestinian relatives of eight members of the Al Haj family, who were killed in a strike early morning, grieve in the family house during their funeral in Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, July 10, 2014.
  • An Israeli girl runs as a siren sounds warning of incoming rockets in the southern city of Ashkelon July 8, 2014.
  • A Palestinian child in a destroyed house Israeli airstrikes after rockets fired from Gaza Strip, July 10, 2014.
  • Palestinian rescue workers use a bulldozer to remove debris following an Israeli air strike on July 8, 2014 in the town of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli tanks seen moving along the border with Gaza on July 10, 2014 on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.
  • Palestinians collect their belongings from the rubble of their house which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 9, 2014.
  • Palestinian mourners bury the body of five-year-old boy during a funeral ceremony in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya after he was killed in an Israeli air strike, July 10, 2014.
  • Children seen with their bicycles by an Iron dome launcher on July 9, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Due to the recent escalation in the region, the Israeli army started new deployments at the border with the Gaza Strip. In the past 3 weeks more than 130 rockets where reportedly fired from Gaza into Israel.
  •  An Israeli woman covers her head and lays on the ground while sirens sound in the southern city of Ashdod, Israel, July 9, 2014. 
  • An ultra-Orthodox Jew speaking on a mobile phone gestures in front of a fire that broke out after a rocket landed near the southern town of Sderot July 9, 2014. Israeli air strikes shook Gaza every few minutes on Wednesday, and militants kept up rocket fire at Israel’s heartland in intensifying warfare that Palestinian officials said has killed at least 37 people in the Hamas-dominated enclave.
  • Palestinians try to salvage their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City Tuesday, July 8, 2014.
  • People gather around a car damaged during an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, July 8, 2014.
  • Palestinian women mourn during the funeral of Hafez Hammad, a senior Islamic Jihad commander, and five of his family members, including two women and two children, who were all killed when an Israeli missile slammed into their house in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun on July 09, 2014.
  • A Palestinian man hold shrapnel again a shrapnel scarred wall following an Israeli air strike in Beit Hanu, in the northern of Gaza Strip on July 9 2014.
  • Palestinian boys inspect the wreckage of a car belonging to a member of the Islamist Hamas movement following an Israeli air strike on July 8, 2014 in the Gaza strip town of Khan Yunis.
  • Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers at the gates of the Beit El Jewish settlement in the Israel occupied West Bank near Ramallah on July 9, 2014, as they protest against the bombardment of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli air force. The Israeli air force bombed 160 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight as it pressed a wide scale campaign to stop volleys of Palestinian rocket fire, an army official said.
  • A Palestinian youth ducks during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the gates of the Beit El Jewish settlement in the Israel occupied West Bank near Ramallah on July 9, 2014, as they protest against the bombardment of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli air force.
  • A picture taken from the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing during an Israeli air strike in the Palestinian coastal enclave, on July 8, 2014.

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Updated

Violence in the Middle East intensified on Wednesday, with Israel’s military announcing that it had hit more than 150 sites linked to the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Israel has been involved in the two-day offensive aimed at stopping rocket attacks coming from the Gaza Strip. According to the Associated Press, Israel has attacked more than 560 sites in Gaza and at least 41 people have been killed since Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Arab League is calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to help end the violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that his country would not allow such attacks and that he has ordered the country’s military to “significantly broaden its operation against Hamas terrorists and against the other terrorist groups inside Gaza.” That includes authorizing the dispersal of up to 40,000 army reservists for a potential ground invasion. Netanyahu called for patience “because this operation could take time.”

Tensions in the area have been escalating following last month’s kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. Israel has accused Hamas of being behind the killings and in response launched a crackdown and arrested hundreds of people in the search for two suspects. Hamas, which controls Gaza, responded with rocket fire.

Adding to the tensions was the discovery a Palestinian teen who was found beaten and burned to death in an apparent act of retaliation by Israeli extremists.

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