- The conflict between Israel and Gaza entered a 5th day, and the death toll climbed to 127.
- The IDF bombarded Gaza early Friday but did not launch a ground invasion.
- Gaza returned fire with more rockets, while riots continue in a mixed Israeli city.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Conflict between Israel and Gaza intensified into Friday, as Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) forces stood on the brink of a ground invasion on the fifth day of armed conflict.
119 Palestinians and eight Israelis had been reported dead as of early Friday afternoon local time, according to the BBC.
Israel fired into Gaza Friday, including an intense, 40-minute bombardment from outside the city using tanks and artillery, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed Israeli official. The strikes also featured aerial attacks from Israeli jets.
In return, a volley of rockets from Gaza streaked into Israel.
IDF spokesperson Lt Jonathan Conricus told The Washington Post that the Israeli offensive was aimed at a network of tunnels used by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza.
He said it had “not been feasible” to try to clear the area of civilians first. He said Israel’s munitions were “precision-guided,” The Post reported.
The force of the attack was so intense that the screams of those caught in onslaught could be heard from miles away, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Late Thursday local time, the IDF tweeted that a ground invasion had begun, but two hours later clarified that no troops had actually entered Gaza.
By the early morning, Israeli troops were massed along the border, and the nation readied another 9,000 reservists, according to the AP. Most adults in Israel are IDF reservists, part of its compulsory military service.
Following the Israeli air strikes, rocket launches from Gaza’s militant ruling body Hamas continued, Reuters reported.
The number of rockets had been launched towards southern Israel has reached around 1,800, according to The New York Times.
As of Thursday, around 90% of them had been intercepted by the country’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, which has protected Israel from most of the effect of the strikes.
Satellite imagery from Wednesday shows, from above, the impact of rockets on Israel and air strikes in Gaza.
Amnesty International said Thursday that the country’s leveling of apartment buildings, which the IDF said housed Hamas offices and weapons, could amount to a war crime.
Palestinian families at the northern and eastern borders of Gaza packed up and flee to escape the bombardment, the AP reported.
Riots also continued between Arab and Jewish groups in the Israeli city of Lod, according to the AP.
Lod, which has a population of around 30% Arab Israelis, has become a flashpoint for what its Mayor Yair Revivo earlier called a mounting “civil war,” The Guardian reported.