© Reuters. Israeli soldiers check artillery shells in an area near the Gaza border in southern Israel on May 13, 2021. REUTERS / Amir Cohen
By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller
GAZA / JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel fired artillery on Friday and carried out further air strikes against Palestinian militants in Gaza, under constant rocket fire deep in Israel’s trading center.
When the hostilities began their fifth day with no signs of subsiding, the Israeli military said in a statement shortly after midnight that air and ground forces would attack the Hamas-led enclave. Missile locks from Gaza followed quickly.
Although the statement provided no further details, Israeli military correspondents, regularly briefed by the armed forces, said the invasion was not a ground invasion and that troops were firing artillery from Israel’s side of the border.
Residents of the northern Gaza Strip near the Israeli border said they saw no signs of ground forces in the enclave, but reported heavy artillery fire and dozens of air strikes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday the campaign would “take more time”. Israeli officials said Hamas, the most powerful militant group in the Gaza Strip, must be dealt a strong deterrent before a ceasefire.
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