Israel PM 'prepared to expand' Gaza operation
Israel sent a "clear message" to Hamas through the killing of its top military commander and is ready to widen its operation in Gaza if necessary, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned, Aljazeera reported.
Speaking hours after a major wave of air strikes pounded targets in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, killing Ahmad Jabari and at least eight other people, Netanyahu vowed that Israel would not tolerate any further rocket fire on its territory.
Arab countries condemned the killing, with the Arab League announcing it was to hold an emergency meeting on Saturday and Egypt recalling its ambassador to Israel.
In a televised address on Wednesday evening, Netanyahu said: "Today we sent a clear message to Hamas and other terrorist organisations, and if it becomes necessary we are prepared to expand the operation.
"Hamas and the terror organisations have chosen to escalate their attacks on the citizens of Israel in recent days," he said after consultations with his security cabinet.
"We will not tolerate a situation in which Israeli citizens are threatened by rocket fire."
Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba, reporting from Gaza, said: "In the last 30 seconds there was another big blast. [The strikes] have been going on all evening.
"It is not just air strikes, but also strikes from Israeli naval ships just off the coast of Gaza."
Baba said the streets of Gaza City on Wednesday evening were "eerily quiet, except for the sound of ambulances".
"The latest from medical sources is that at least seven people have been killed, including two children, and at least 60 people have been wounded, including 10 children."