Gaza: Israel continues air strikes and mulls ground invasion
Israeli warplanes hit targets in Gaza early Sunday, including a mosque and a TV station, after a day of intensive air strikes that killed at least 230 Palestinians and wounded some 800. In the first attack early Sunday, Palestinians said Israeli aircraft bombed a mosque near Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, destroying it. Two bodies were retrieved from the rubble. The explosion, just after midnight, blew out windows at the hospital, hospital officials said. The Israeli military said the mosque was a base for "terrorist" activities.
Another attack early Sunday was directed at Al Aqsa TV station used by Hamas. Its studio building was destroyed, but the station remained on the air with a mobile unit. Palestinians counted about 20 airstrikes in the first hours of Sunday.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Israeli infantry and armored corps troops headed for the Gaza Strip border early Sunday in preparation for a possible ground invasion, military officials said.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Sky News on Saturday that he would not rule out widening the offensive in the Gaza Strip to include a ground invasion. "For us to be asked to have a cease-fire with Hamas is like asking you to have a cease-fire with Al-Qaida," Barak said in another interview with Fox News. "It's something we cannot really accept."
Asked whether Israel would follow up the air strikes with a ground offensive, Barak said, "If boots on the ground will be needed, they will be there." "Our intention is to totally change the rules of the game," he said.