Israel bombs office of Gaza prime minister

Suhaib Salem / Reuters

Palestinians inspect the destroyed office building of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on Saturday.

By NBC News staff and wire services

Israeli aircraft bombed Hamas headquarters?before dawn on Saturday, including?the office of Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, as conflict in the region entered its fourth day.?

According to the BBC,?witnesses reported extensive damage to the building that Egypt’s Prime Minister?Hisham Qandil had visited on Friday.

Just before dawn Saturday, Gaza City was hit with large explosions, according to the BBC. Since midnight,?Israel’s military claims to have targeted 85 sites.?

A police headquarters building in Gaza was also bombed, Reuters reported.

As the crisis escalates, Israel’s military is considering waging a ground campaign. It started drafting 16,000 reserve troops on Friday, as Israel’s Cabinet authorized the mobilization of up to 75,000 reservists. Troops are massing on the border, and witnesses said they could see Israeli ships off Gaza’s coast,?NBC News’ Ayman Mohyeldin reported.

Rockets from Gaza fired on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

In a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama?reiterated American support for Israel to defend itself, Reuters reported.

Until this recent escalation, Jerusalem — a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians — was last struck by a Palestinian rocket in 1970.

In just the last three days, 500 rockets have been fired at Israel, NBC’s Martin Fletcher reported.?Israel’s air and sea assault on Gaza is intended to stop the rockets.

Officials in Gaza told Reuters that 30 Palestinians – 14 militants and 16 civilians, among them eight children and a pregnant woman – had been killed in the enclave since Israel began its air strikes. Three Israeli civilians were killed by a rocket on Thursday.

Reuters contributed to this story.

Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were both attacked Friday but the rockets fired from Gaza fell short of their targets. Meanwhile, the Israeli army is arriving on the border with Gaza, ready for the order to invade. NBC’s Martin Fletcher reports.


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