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article imageIsraeli government okays invasion according to local media Special

By Robert Weller     Jul 9, 2014 in Politics
Jerusalem - The Israel government gave its army permission to invade the densely populated Gaza strip after air strikes failed to stop rocket attacks, local media said. Tanks were massed at the frontier.
Associated Press reported Israel’s intelligence minister told Israel Radio that his country ‘‘will have to take over Gaza temporarily, for a few weeks.’’
Israel warplanes hit a car carrying journalists Wednesday, reports on Twitter said. At least one was killed. A doctor based in Gaza City confirmed the report in a telephone call from Digital Journal.The doctor asked that his name be withheld. The journalist was said to be a Palestinian traveling in a car clearedly marked as a press vehicle.
Reporters Without Borders had issued a statement Tuesday saying journalists were being targeted by Israeli forces.
The Maan News Agency reported at least 64 Palestinians had died in air strikes, including some children.
Leaders of the anti-Israeli fighters apparently had enough time to go to ground, making an invasion more likely.
Human Rights Watch accused both sides of violating international law. "Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel appear to be indiscriminate or targeted at civilian population centers, which are war crimes, while Israeli attacks targeting homes may amount to prohibited collective punishment," Human Rights Watch said today.
“Regardless of who started this latest round, attacks targeting civilians violate basic humanitarian norms,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “All attacks, including reprisal attacks, that target or indiscriminately harm civilians are prohibited under the laws of war, period.”
Maan said one senior jihad leader was killed, Hafiz Hamad, and five members of his family.
The Gaza Ministry of Health said more than 450 people were wounded.
There were no reports of Israeli casualities, though many of its citizens were believed to have sought safety in bomb shelters.
The Times of Israel said the fighters, who Israel claims is under the control of Hamas, had tried to strike the Dimona nuclear reactor but so far had failed.
At least 40 rockets were fired at Israel on Wednesday. Eight were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense batteries, the Times of Israel said.
Egypt so far has made no statement about the attacks, or shown any effort to allow the reopening of tunnels that could be used to send food, water and ammunition and weapons to Gaza. The Cairo government already has been widely condemned in the Arab world for suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood.
Jordan spokesman Mohammad Momani said in a statement that his country “condemns the military aggression launched by Israel in the Gaza Strip,” and demands an “immediate stop” to the campaign. Momani also warned against “the consequences of this barbaric aggression.”
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