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But a big rocket strike might be enough for Netanyahu to give a green light for a Gaza invasion, despite the political risks of heavy casualties before a January election he is favoured to win.
Although 84 percent of Israelis supported the current Gaza assault, according to a Haaretz poll, only 30 percent wanted an invasion. Nineteen percent wanted their government to work on securing a truce soon.
Israel’s declared goal is to deplete Gaza arsenals and force Hamas to stop rocket fire that has bedevilled Israeli border towns for years.
The rockets now have greater range, becoming a strategic weapon for Gaza’s otherwise massively outgunned militants. Several projectiles have targeted Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. None hit the two cities and some of the rockets were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor system.
As a precaution against the rocket interceptions endangering nearby Ben-Gurion International Airport, civil aviation authorities said on Monday new flight paths were being used.
There was no indication takeoffs and landings at Ben-Gurion had been affected.
Hamas and other groups in Gaza are sworn enemies of the Jewish state which they refuse to recognise and seek to eradicate, claiming all Israeli territory as rightfully theirs.
Hamas won legislative elections in the Palestinian Territories in 2006 but a year later, after the collapse of a unity government under President Mahmoud Abbas the Islamist group seized control of Gaza in a brief and bloody civil war with forces loyal to Abbas.