Israeli aircraft bombed Hamas government buildings in Gaza on Saturday, including the prime minister’s office, after Israel’s cabinet authorised the mobilisation of up to 75,000 reservists in preparation for a possible ground invasion.
Palestinian militants in Gaza kept up cross-border salvoes, firing a rocket at Israel’s biggest city Tel Aviv for the third straight day. Police said it was destroyed in mid-air by an Iron Dome anti-missile battery deployed hours earlier, and no one was injured.
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip, said Israeli missiles wrecked the office building of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh - where he had met on Friday with the Egyptian prime minister - and struck a police headquarters.
In the Israeli Mediterranean port of Ashdod, a rocket ripped into several balconies. Police said five people were hurt.
With Israeli tanks and artillery positioned along the Gaza border and no end in sight to hostilities now in their fourth day, Tunisia’s foreign minister travelled to the enclave in a show of Arab solidarity.
Officials in Gaza said 41 Palestinians, nearly half of them civilians including eight children and a pregnant woman, had been killed since Israel began its air strikes. Three Israeli civilians were killed by a rocket on Thursday.
In Cairo, a presidential source said Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi would hold four-way talks with the Qatari emir, the prime minister of Turkey and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in the Egyptian capital on Saturday to discuss the Gaza crisis.