Defense Minister Ehud Barak, center, attends a briefing Thursday in Beersheba, southern Israel.
Israel is preparing for what may be an imminent invasion of Gaza after a day of shelling from Palestinian militants that killed three people. Israeli forces moved toward the Gaza border late Thursday. Observers reported seeing at least 12 trucks transporting tanks and other military vehicles accompanied by buses carrying soldiers. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the army could draft 30,000 additional troops.
Defense officials say Israel is prepared to launch a ground invasion into Gaza if necessary. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the army was prepared for a “significant widening” of its Gaza offensive.
“No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation,” he said. “This is why my government has instructed the Israeli Defense Forces to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. And this is why Israel will continue to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people.”