Photos: Striking Images of Israel Gaza Conflict [PHOTOS]
By Vasudevan Sridharan | Nov 18, 2012 10:31 AM EDT
The fighting in the Gaza strip continues to escalate through the fifth day of the conflict as Israel continues its attacks on Hamas.
Israeli forces have deployed warships in addition to aerial bombardment, and reports suggest that nearly 50 Palestinians have perished in the attacks.
Palestinian rockets targeting Tel Aviv have been intercepted by Iron Dome, Israel's high-tech defence system.
"As of now we have struck more than 1,000 targets, so Hamas should do the math over whether it is worth or not to cease fire. If there is quiet in the south and no rockets and missiles are fired at Israel's citizens, nor terrorist attacks engineered from the Gaza Strip, we will not attack," tweeted Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon.
During the five days of bombardment, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) has fired at least 900 rockets in the Gaza region aimed at government buildings and media offices.
In retaliation, some 500 rockets have emerged from the Gaza region so far while 250 other missiles have been intercepted by Israel.
Clashes have crossed the border and entered the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, prompting a strong retaliation from Israel.
Leaders, including Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi, are trying to bring about a ceasefire. The Israelis are threatening a ground invasion for which nearly 75,000 reservists are on standby.
Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier said that a ground offensive would only take place if the Palestinians increased their rocket attacks, he has made it clear that the country is equipped to "significantly expand" its operation in Gaza.
"The soldiers are ready for any activity that could take place," he told a meeting of policy-makers.
An Israeli police officer gestures in front of a burning car after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza landed in the southern city of AshkelonSource: Reuters
A Palestinian man sits amongst the rubble of a destroyed house after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza StripSource: Reuters
A Palestinian inspects a destroyed house after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza StripSource: Reuters
Smoke rises after Israeli air strike on the northern Gaza StripSource: Reuters
Palestinian girls run away after an Israeli air strike on a house in the northern Gaza StripSource: Reuters
A wounded Palestinian boy reacts as he receives treatment in a hospital after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza StripSource: Reuters
A wounded Palestinian man tries to get out the rubble of his house after an Israeli air strike in Gaza CitySource: Reuters
Smoke trails are seen as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards IsraelSource: Reuters
Smoke trails are seen as an Iron Dome intercepts a rocket which was launched from Gaza, near SderotSource: Reuters
Palestinians inspect the destroyed office building of Hamas PM Haniyeh in GazaSource: Reuters
A girl walks with the Hezbollah flag during a demonstration against Israel's military operation in Gaza, in front of the U.N. headquarters in BeirutSource: Reuters
Palestinians pray next to the bodies of Hamas militants, who were killed in Israeli air strikes, during their funeral at a mosque in the central Gaza StripSource: Reuters
A wounded Palestinian child is carried into a hospital after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza StripSource: Reuters
A dog stands outside a damaged house after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza landed near AshdodSource: Reuters
Israeli soldiers sleep in their sleeping bags next to a tank near the border with the Gaza StripSource: Reuters
Palestinians search for victims under the rubble of the destroyed house of a Hamas official after an Israeli air strike in Jabalya in the northern GazaSource: Reuters
Egyptian Islamist cleric Hegazy shouts slogans against Israel's ongoing military operation in Gaza Strip, in old CairoSource: Reuters
Relatives of Palestinian boy Faris Basyoni, who was killed in an Israeli air strike, mourn during his funeral in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza StripSource: Reuters
Mother of Palestinian girl Tafish kisses her body during a funeral in the northern Gaza StripSource: Reuters