Israel-Gaza violence

Key Points

  • Israeli air strikes have continued in the Gaza Strip, targeting the Hamas headquarters and some 180 other sites
  • Israel has called up some 75,000 reservists in preparation for a possible ground war
  • Militants in Gaza continue to send rockets into Israel, after firing at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on Friday
  • At least 40 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed since Israel assassinated Hamas' military head on Wednesday
  • All times are in GMT

    That brings our live coverage of the violence in Gaza and Israel to a close for now. Thanks for following. You can always check for the latest news, pictures and analysis on the BBC news website.

    Majed Abusalama, journalist in Gaza

    tweets: Another bomb falls in the north of #Gaza, the drones in the sky like a big Devil!


    Mr Mursi has been holding talks in Cairo with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Khaled Meshaal of Hamas, and the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.


    Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi says there are "some indications" - but "no guarantees" - that there may be a ceasefire in Gaza "soon".

    Sara Hussein, AFP journalist

    tweets: Rumours of a ceasefire coming, but we're still hearing strikes in #Gaza #Israel

    Marwa in Gaza

    tweets: my ribs are smashed of the loudness of each strike #GazaUnderAttack


    Latest figures from the Israeli mililtary: 160 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza in the last 24 hours.

    Daniel Nisman

    tweets: #Israel media denying rumours of looming ceasefire with #Hamas. #Gaza

    2016: Kim Ghattas BBC state department correspondent

    reports that in private, American officials are urging against a ground invasion of Gaza. But Israel's ambassador to Washington Michael Oren said he believed the US had given Israel its full backing take whatever measures are needed. Palestinian officials have complained Washington's position is too one-sided and doesn't take into account what they see as Israel's disproportionate response.


    Israel's ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, told the BBC that his country did not want to have to launch a ground operation. "But what we do want to do, what's absolutely crucial, is we create a situation where there isn't simply a pause to reload, but a new environment in which the citizens of southern Israel aren't facing constant threats from Hamas rockets in Gaza," he said.


    More from the Arab League: Secretary General Nabil el-Araby is to lead a delegation of Arab foreign ministers to Gaza in the next "one or two days".


    The Arab League will back Egypt's efforts to work with the Palestinians and stop Israeli strikes on Gaza, according to a statement picked up by Reuters.


    Residents in Gaza City, Beersheba and Tel Aviv have been sharing their impressions with the BBC. You can read them in Voices from across the Israel-Gaza divide.


    Israeli police are planing a "sweep" for Palestinians illegally residing in Israel on Sunday, due to security concerns, Haaretz newspaper reports.


    As Israel is considering a ground invasion into Gaza, Israeli soldiers have been taking part in drills simulating such an operation:

    Israeli soldiers take part in a drill simulating a possible ground invasion into Gaza. Photo: 17 November 2012

    "Gaza conflict shows how the power of the Arab Spring was underestimated," writes Richard Spencer in this Telegraph article.

    Al Qassam Brigades

    tweets: 20:30 Al Qassam Brigades shelling occupied Ashdod with 5 Grad missiles. #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack #ShaleStones #Israel


    Israel's Haaretz website reports that hundreds of people are protesting in Tel Aviv against the Israeli air strikes on Gaza.


    If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the Israel-Gaza violence. We're bringing you the latest updates from our correspondents, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.


    Two Palestinians were killed in a new Israeli air strike on central Gaza, raising the death toll to 42 since Wednesday, Gaza's emergency services are quoted as saying by the AFP.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets (follow-up to previous post): Actually two and both got knocked out by #Israeli iron dome system #Gaza

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Long range rocket just took off near our bureau in #Gaza


    Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai says "the goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for 40 years," according to Israel's Haaretz website.

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Total support 4 #Israel army among those we met under rocket fire in south. Not too much sympathy 4 families underfire in #Gaza


    Muhammad Abu Shaban, who lives with his family in Gaza City, tells the BBC that the "situation in Gaza now terrible". He says: "We barely sleep for less than one hour daily, explosions are everywhere. Only the sound of air strikes, shooting, rockets, bombs, ambulances, that's the way it is. People are really afraid from the ground invasion. As well as electricity, power is off."


    The Jerusalem Post is running a piece on how Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has been lobbying international leaders on the ongoing Gaza operation.

    Mayanja Geofrey, Kampala, Uganda

    emails: "What I can say is those two countries should sit down and settle their issues in a diplomatic way rather than fighting against each other because innocent people are loosing their lives for nothing."

    Rushdi Abualouf, BBC reporter in Gaza

    tweets: Doctor in the main #GAZA hospital said there is a shortage of medical supplies

    Ali, Iran

    emails: "When they (Gaza militants) fire rockets to Israel what do they expect? They expect Israel to watch them?"


    So, the Israeli military claims the Iron Dome anti-missile system has so far been a success. Here, an ultra-Orthodox Jew watches as Iron Dome batteries are transported in Ashdod:

    An ultra-Orthodox Jew watches as a lorry transports Iron Dome anti-missiles batteries in Ashdod. Photo: 17 November 2012
    IDF spokesperson

    tweets: Some numbers from the last 3 days: 492 rockets fired from #Gaza hit #Israel + 245 Iron Dome interceptions = 737 rockets fired at us

    Matt, England

    emails: "Why is everyone asking how come the West isn't doing anything about this? Why is it our responsibility to police the Middle East? Is it not the responsibility of the countries involved to come to a diplomatic solution?"


    An emergency Arab League meeting is now under way in Cairo, but would it be able to offer any viable solution to the current Israel-Gaza conflict?

    Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi at the meeting in Cairo. Photo: 17 November 2012
    Rose Marie

    tweets: For the 1st time in 42yrs an #Egyptian prime minister was where all Egyptians wanted him to be. Gaza is no longer alone

    Manicam, Kuala Lumpur

    emails: "While a negotiated settlement seems the logical move forward, the possibility of this taking place seems slim considering that IDF would want to assure themselves that all potential long-range weapons in Gaza are totally removed. Under these circumstances the cessation of the battle sadly seems rather remote."


    Israeli Security Minister Avi Dichter says no-one in Gaza is immune from being hit by Israeli fire, Israel Radio reports. Mr Dichter adds that this includes Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.


    Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi pledges to support the Palestinians against "Israel's aggression" and "break the siege" of Gaza. The AFP says Mr Arabi made the comments as Arab ministers began their meeting in Cairo.

    Rushdi Abualouf, BBC reporter in Gaza

    tweets: Senior source in #Hamas told BBC an offer for a ceasefire made ​​by Turkey being studied by the Hamas delegation in #Cairo #Gaza


    More on the pro-Palestinian demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in London (see 1502 entry). The BBC's Pete Bettaccini says the number of protesters has grown to several hundred now.

    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    writes about visiting sites in Gaza hit by Israeli air strikes, adding that Gazans now fearfully await Israel's next step.


    Qatar is to give Egypt $10m to help treat Palestinians wounded in Israeli air strikes in Gaza, state-run QNA news agency reports.


    Anti-Israeli protests have been staged in a number of countries around the world, including Lebanon:

    Protesters burn an Israeli flag in Sidon, Lebanon. Photo: 17 November 2012
    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets (part 2): ...tonight will be very busy because both #Gaza -#Israel have previously let rip when a ceasefire is close to try to do the most damage

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: This evening #Gaza has been its quietest of the last few days. If that's because a ceasefire deal is being worked out in cairo ...1/2

    Richard Galpin BBC News, Jerusalem

    reports that an Israeli air force brigadier general claims at least 90% of long-range rockets in Gaza have been destroyed. Medium- and short-range rockets and infrastructure to fire them have been severely damaged, the general says. But militants still have hundreds of short-range missiles.


    The same Hamas official says that Israel has so far carried out 700 air strikes since Wednesday.


    The Palestinian death toll has now reached 40 after one person was killed in an Israeli air strike east of Gaza City, a Hamas health official says. Half of the victims were civilians, the official adds.


    "The Gaza crisis is especially dangerous because of the turbulence and instability in the wider Middle East," writes the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: MT @Rushdibbc: #Hamas announces Government institutions will open their doors as usual on Sunday, requests all employees to return to work

    Dan, Edinburgh, Scotland

    emails: "It's easy for us sitting in peace here in Britain to condemn the action in a country far enough away to be known only by reputation. If 200 plus rockets had rained down on London or Edinburgh in a week would we be marching with plaquards today or demanding the army be sent to find the source and stop them?"


    But since Wednesday many places across Gaza looked like this:

    Smoke rises following an Israeli strike in Zeitoun, on the outskirts of Gaza City. Photo: 17 November 2012
    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: I'm on the seafront in #Gaza as the sun goes down. If the conflict was ever resolved this would be a prime Mediterranean beach resort

    Al Qassam Brigades

    tweets: 16:15 Al Qassam Brigades shelling Zikim base with 6 Grad missiles #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack #Hamas #Israel

    Mahfooz Rabbani, Bangalore, India

    emails: "An eye for an eye will make the world blind one day" (Mahatma Gandhi). Just as one rocket from the Palestinian side the other from Israeli side. Where are the Western countries right now? Why they are not doing aything?"


    One Tel Aviv resident tells the BBC: "We have to finish this problem and we have to attack them, that's it... I'm sorry but this is the life. We have the force and we are the boss. We have to be because around this country is the Muslim fanatic: Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Iraq."


    Israel must be "held to account" over the "Gaza massacre", Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.


    Civilians on both sides are paying the price for what some analysts describe as "political miscalculation" by Israeli leaders and Hamas. Here, an injured Palestinian child cries at a hospital following an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza:

    An injured Palestinian child cries in Beit Lahia. Photo: 17 November 2012
    Jospeh Dana

    tweets: Increasingly large and violent protest reported now at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank. #Gaza

    Dan, Devon, UK

    emails: Neither side is right. Israel is the stronger and Palestinians increasingly have nothing to lose. A line needs to be drawn in the sand and negotiations for a long term solution started. I don't get the impression that Hamas or Israel want this so the violence continues with innocents to suffer as usual.

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Israeli ambulance service says 66 rockets fired out of #Gaza today. Says 10 Israelis suffered light injuries and 15 suffering from stress.


    "Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to bomb Hamas militants will leave Israel more isolated, insecure, and alone," writes Janine Zacharia in the Slate.


    Associated Press reports that people huddled along Tel Aviv's beachfront boardwalk cheered as the Iron Dome defence system shot down the incoming missile.

    IDF spokesperson

    tweets: The Iron Dome battery that intercepted the rocket heading to the Tel Aviv area moments ago was the same battery deployed earlier today.


    Pro-Palestinian demonstrators have gathered outside the Israeli embassy in London to protest against the offensive in Gaza.

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside the Israeli Embassy in London to protest against Israel"s actions in Gaza.
    Kaye Linden, Gainesville, Florida

    emails: My ninety year old mother lives in Tel-Aviv, Israel. She says it is "not a comfortable situation. We are trying to continue as usual but lots of air planes are flying overhead and air raid sirens fill the air. It is a Shabbat and usually a quiet day. I am in pain and afraid. At my age, this is crazy. That's just how it is."

    Deema Meshal in Gaza

    tweets: gaza is small very crowded city, any explosion of these huge bombs enough to explode a whole neighberhood #gazaunderattack

    Peter Beaumont, the Guardian

    tweets: Claims circulating that Hamas would stop firing rockets if blockade lifted and assassinations stop. Don't see Israel agreeing

    Donna Strauss in Ottawa, Canada

    emails: There will be no end to this conflict without a negotiated settlement on both sides. Only negotiations will end the conflict and recognition by both sides that the other is there to stay.


    Latest from Tel Aviv: the Israeli ambulance service says there were no casualties in the rocket attack, Reuters reports.


    The New York Times is running an article, suggesting that Barack Obama's administration has been privately urging Israeli officials not to extend the conflict to a ground invasion. The newspaper says this could play into the hands of Hamas and further damage Israel's standing in the region.


    Israel Radio reports that the Iron Dome anti-missile battery apparently intercepted the missile fired on Tel Aviv from Gaza.


    More from Tel Aviv. Reuters is now reporting an explosion and smoke in the city.


    Air raid sirens sound in Tel Aviv, a witness is quoted as saying by Reuters.


    One man is killed in a fresh Israeli strike on Rafah in southern Gaza, Palestinian medics are quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. If confirmed, this would take the overall Palestinian death toll to 40 since Wednesday.


    First pictures emerge from the family apartment in Ashdod hit by a rocket fired from Gaza (see Katya Adler's latest entry below):

    A doll lies on the floor in Ashdod's house hit by a rocket from Gaza. Photo: 17 November 2012
    Patrick Conlon, Dorset, UK

    emails: The military chief of Hamas (an elected party in Gaza) is killed by Israel, now their HQ is destroyed by Israel. Why does our British Prime minister and other leaders not condemn these actions? Why does Mr Obama give "support" to Israel after these actions?

    Michael Bond, Portadown, UK

    emails: Israel is totally justified in protecting its people from any attack. How would the UK respond to rockets being fired into London, would they sit on their thumbs and 'talk' about it or vigorously defend its people?

    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    says that there is a mood of defiance in Gaza City, with people voicing support for the militants.

    Steve, Liverpool, UK

    emails: Both sides saying the other needs to stop - yet no sign that either side is willing to give ground, I see no end at the moment, really hope a ground assualt does not take place.

    1413: Eytan Schwartz, an adviser to Tel Aviv's mayor

    tells the BBC: "Life is back to normal in the city. You can see people on the beautiful beach. Schools and commerce are back to normal tomorrow. This is Tel Aviv's way of life."

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Just visited family apartment in Ashdod, #Israel devastated by #Gaza direct rocket hit.Moments before family left flat for shelter. Alive.


    Clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians have also been reported on the West Bank border. Here, a Palestinian youth gestures at Israeli troops at the Jalama checkpoint:

    A Palestinian youth gestures at Israeli soldiers at the Jalama checkpoint, West Bank. Photo: 17 November 2012
    Uri Gershon, Gan Yavne, Israel

    emails: It is not easy these days here. Many Sirens and a strong feeling of no security wherever you go. I hope it will finish soon, but it needs to be that there will be no rockets at all - unlike the situation in the last few years in which there is a low level and ongoing shooting from Gaza Strip to Israel. All we need is silence on both sides.

    Al Qassam Brigades

    tweets: 13:30 Al Qassam Brigades shelling Zikim military base with 3 projectiles #Gaza #GazasUnderAttack #Freedom #Palestine #Resistance #Israel


    If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the Israel-Gaza violence. We're bringing you the latest updates from our correspondents, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.


    The Israeli military has continued its build-up on the Gaza border ahead a possible ground invasion. Here, Israeli soldiers are seen gathering gather near armoured bulldozers:

    Israeli soldiers gather next to their armoured bulldozers on the Gaza border. Photo: 17 November 2012
    IDF spokesperson

    tweets: Some numbers from last 3 days: 410 rockets fired from #Gaza hit #Israel + 230 Iron Dome interceptions = 640 rockets fired at us

    Al Jazeera

    tweets: During a press conference outside the destroyed #Hamas HQ in #Gaza spokesman Taher Al Nounou said: We will rise from the rubble

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: #Gaza is densely populated but in this conflict #Hamas is firing many more rockets from the heart of the Strip's cities than normally do

    1320: Mark Regev Israeli government spokesperson

    told the BBC: "We don't want to see any civilians caught up in the crossfire between us and Hamas... But the simple fact is that Hamas has embedded itself, it's embedded its military machine, amongst the civilian population."

    Hatem Shurrab Islamic Relief Palestine

    tweets: Medics told us of critical shortages: unavailability of 192 type of drugs, 340 of disposables & 300 types of medicine about to finish. #Gaza

    Sami Elajramy, Gaza

    told the BBC that he was in an area at the centre of the fighting: "It's a rain of attacking and bombing and also where most of the resistance rockets are fired towards Israel, so this area is very hot... We are isolated. All the world is supporting Israel even if they are committing crimes inside the Palestinian territories. People here are desperate."

    Erin Cunningham, Global Post reporter

    tweets: F16 streaks loudly across sky, spooks [Hamas government spokesman Taher] Al Nounou as he's speaking at what's left of Haniya HQ in #Gaza

    Joseph Dana

    tweets: Palestinian medic reportedly seriously injured in demonstration near Ramallah against Israel's operation in Gaza.


    Israeli children wave their national flag as a bus carrying soldiers on their way to the Gaza border passes.

    Israeli children at a bus carrying soldiers near the southern Israeli town of Ofakim on November 17, 2012

    An Israeli government minister has been quoted as saying troops could launch a ground offensive into Gaza within the next 24 hours if rocket fire does not stop before then.

    Mohammed Omer

    tweets: #Israeli F16s bombed the 17th Force and national security HQ in #Gaza city, ambulances on the way now


    Jordan's King Abdullah has ordered urgent humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza. In a statement, the palace said it aimed to provide "all the necessary medical care to children of the brotherly Palestinian people... in view of the difficult circumstances in the face of Israeli aggression".

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Mother Sana Kadir who's 5 children were all injured in Israeli airstrike in Jabalia in #Gaza asks "what have they ever done to hurt Israel"

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Explosions all around us in #Ashdod, southern #Israel, following sirens and incoming #Gaza rockets


    Witnesses are reporting Israeli use of tear gas and possibly live ammunition against a protest in Ofer, West Bank.


    This video shows the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh's office in the densely populated Gaza strip.

    Roy, Tel Aviv, Israel

    emails: For 12 years, the people in southern Israel have been suffering from rockets fired from Gaza. Israel fights against the terrorists, not against the people in Gaza but Israel has the right to defense itself!

    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    tweets: Massive explosion after #Israeli airstrike in the heart of #Gaza Ciity

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: IDF's @AvitalLeibovich tells BBC radio IDF has hit 850 targets in #Gaza since operation began. She denies Israel uses disproportionate force


    Hezbollah supporters and Palestinian groups in Lebanon take part in a Beirut protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza on Saturday.

    Protest organized by Palestinian groups in Lebanon and the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group, near the UN headquarters in Beirut Nov 17 2012.

    Haaretz has an unconfirmed report saying Hamas is preventing foreign nationals, including 22 journalists, from leaving the Gaza Strip.

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Ashdod city, southern #Israel reports just in of direct rocket hit on house. 2 taken to hospital

    Chris Doyle Council for Arab-British Understanding

    tweets: Before IDF killed a 12 yr old boy in #Gaza on 8 November Reuters reported it broke 2 week lull in violence #israel

    Ntwati Augustin, Dar Salam, Tanzania

    emails: Israel and Palestine cannot and will not end their blood conflict by bombing each other. And America and the EU are not the right contries to mediate between the two, due to their political and economical interest in the Middle East.


    In a statement, Afghan president Hamid Karzai has condemned Israel's airstrikes on Gaza and called for an "immediate stop" to violence against civilians.

    Peter Beaumont Guardian journalist

    tweets: Egyptian President has been meeting Turkish PM and Khaled Meshaal of Hamas this am. Expecting statement on tv soon

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Trying to drive close to #Gaza border to see #Israeli military build-up. Soldiers want to turn us round. Say area now closed military zone


    Iran has called on the Muslim world to unite against Israel in support of Gaza, according to state news agency IRNA.

    Richard Hall

    tweets: Morsi's inaction aside, one of the ramifications of latest attack on Gaza is that Hamas and new Egyptian gov pushed closer together.

    1149: Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    The BBC's Jon Donnison has sent out this photo of Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh's flattened headquarters in Gaza City

    Hamas PM's office after Israeli airstrike, 17/11/12
    Callum, Edinburgh, Scotland

    emails: I am completely against any fighting (especially as I have friends who are being conscripted into the Israeli army this year). It will not end well, neither side will achieve a victory, the only solution is diplomacy!

    Israeli Defence Force

    tweets: BREAKING: A few minutes ago, 4 rockets fired from #Gaza struck Ashdod: 1 on a house, 1 on a car, 1 near a kindergarten & 1 in an open area.

    Jenan Moussa Al Aan TV reporter

    tweets: #Hamas al-Aqsa brigades sign text messages sent to many Israelis, reading: "We will turn #Gaza into a cemetery for your soldiers" (Haaretz)


    The latest pictures from the violence in Gaza and Israel are up here.

    1131: Lt Col Avital Leibovich IDF

    told the BBC: "We will continue with this operation until we bring some peace and quiet and normality to three million Israelis who are currently under immediate rocket danger."


    An Israeli bomb disposal expert removes the remains of a rocket fired into an area near Ashdod from Gaza.

    An Israeli bomb disposal expert (C) removes the remains of a rocket fired in Sde Uziyahu November 17, 2012.
    Joseph Dana

    tweets: Israel Labor Party leader Shelly Yachimovich on TV: "During times of war, there is no left or right."


    Senior Egptian sources tell Haaretz that Cairo is leading intensive efforts to reach a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.


    Associated Press is reporting that ten Palestinians, including eight millitants, have been killed in attacks this morning. That would bring the total of Gazans killed to 40. Three Israelis have also died since Operation Pillar of Defence began.

    Al Qassam Brigades

    tweets: Al Qassam Brigades shelling Tselim military base with 7 Grad missiles #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack #ShaleStone #Hamas #Resistance #Freedom


    Israel has carried out nearly 200 airstrikes against Gaza so far today, according to the military. They have targeted the prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and smuggling tunnels.

    Michael Cohen, Netanya, Israel

    emails: Israel is united against those who try to harm the peace and quiet in the region. Although there is a majoity of citizens in Israel that would like to see a two states solution, it may not be and should not be acheived by means of terror.

    Tweet Palestine

    tweets: Despite PA security attempts to stop the youth from protesting at Howara Checkpoint the chabab [guys] got there now #Nablus with #Gaza


    Radio France correspondent Emilie Baujard has posted this audio of an airstrike on al-Atatra neighbourhood in northern Gaza.


    With Israelis and Palestinians both pointing the finger at each other for sparking the latest violence, The Atlantic has tried to piece together a timeline of events here.

    Ayman Mohyeldin, NBC News

    tweets: US deploys navy carrier off Israeli coast incase Americans forced to evacuate Stresses US not providing intelligence/military help to Israel


    Haaretz reports that IDF chief Benny Gantz has told the ir force to intenify aerial attacks on Gaza


    Tunisia's Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem (centre) visiting a Palestinian wounded during an Israeli airstrike at a Gaza hospital. He told reporters: "Israel cannot continue to use force, it is not above the law and has no special protection."

    Tunisia's Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem (C) visits a Palestinian, who was wounded in an Israeli air strike, at a hospital in Gaza City November 17, 2012
    Ertan Orucu, Baku, Azerbaijan

    emails: I condemn the announcements of support by western countries including US and the European Union to Israel. I don't understand how can they be so hypocritical... the Isrealis are leading a life on the soil that once belonged to the Palistenians.


    Al Arabiya has a graphic explaining Hamas' firepower

    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    tweets: Cat and mouse. #Israel says it's eliminated up to 90% of #Hamas' military capabilites The drones above #Gaza now are looking for the rest.

    Eyal Hartogs, Ramat Gan, Israel

    emails: A day before the first attack on Tel Aviv, I told my 12 year-old daughter that if an alarm goes off she has to run into the safety room. She practiced some runs to see if she had enough time, before the rocket would strike. A million civilians have been living like this for 11 years, with sometimes many incoming rockets on a single day, they have 15-30 seconds to hide. We know how this will end. The whole world will decry "Israeli aggression".

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: #Israeli military say 50 rockets fired from #Gaza at Israel this morning

    George, Woking, Surrey

    emails: Why can't a no fly zone be put into place?


    The BBC has spoken to Israeli army reservists called up near the city of Beersheba. Doron said: "We came here to help with whatever is needed and we'll do what we can".


    Associated Press reports that the Tunisian foreign minister's visit to Gaza today was the first by a Tunis official since Hamas took power in 2007.

    Zelda, London

    emails: How many rockets would need to be fired at your child's school before you expected your leaders to react? I'm totally with Israel on this.


    A senior US official has told the Wall Street Journal that the United States is "working overtime" to ease the rising violence in the Middle East and prevent an Israeli ground invasion.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets this picture: There might be a war going on but after years of living with conflict kids in #Gaza are still riding their bikes.

    Child riding bike in Gaza
    Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    tells BBC Radio 4 this morning: "This crisis is especially dangerous because the Middle East is more turbulent and less stable than at any time since the 1950s."

    Shaiko, Tel Aviv

    emails: I just want to let the world know that people on both sides are suffering and frightened.


    The Israeli army is reported to have sealed off the main roads around Gaza and declared a closed military zone, another sign that a ground offensive could be planned.


    Haaretz has an article on how in Tel Aviv, potential rockets are not interrupting the beach and cafe culture.


    There are uncomfired reports that the IDF has begun artillery shelling into Gaza from tanks along the border. Israel has been moving tanks and armoured vehicles into position over the last few days.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Several #Israeli drones whirring overhead as I stand at #Hamas's PM's HQ in #Gaza. Place deserted apart from a few guards milling around.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: At Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh's HQ which was hit last night in #Gaza by #Israeli strike. It is the most trashed of any building I've seen.


    Al Akhbar has highlights from the Tunisian foreign minister's speech in Gaza. He reportedly said "Israel must realise that it is facing a changed Arab world that won't stand for what it is doing".

    Jon Williams BBC Foreign Editor

    tweets: UK, Germany, EU blaming #Hamas for #Gaza escalation. But #Israel effectively on notice: ground assault may change international blame game.


    Tunisia's Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem (centre) visits the destroyed office of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City.

    Tunisia's Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem (centre) visits the destroyed office of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City.
    Majed Abusalama, Gaza

    tweets: Ambulances are everywhere close to #alsaftawe Street, Good protect #gaza

    0906: Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    writes: One of the strikes targeted the home of a Hamas leader in the Jabaliya refugee camp - one of the most densely populated places in the world. Most of the people around here are young children. We understand that 30 people were injured here, some of them children, and some of them critically.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Several rockets leaving this wholly civilian area in Jabaliya in #Gaza nothing has come back in yet

    Israeli Defence Force

    tweets: 5th Iron Dome battery now deployed. It's in the greater Tel Aviv area. Since Nov 14, Iron Dome interceptors hit 90% of their targets in sky.


    The number of Palestinians killed in Gaza since Wednesday is now reported to have risen to 39.


    An IDF spokesperson has confirmed to newsagency AFP that three soldiers were "lightly wounded" in a rocket attack on the Eshkol regional council.


    Haaretz reports that more than 20 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel this morning. Eight of them were apparently intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system.


    This picture shows all that is left of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's office in Gaza City this morning after it was targeted in an Israeli airstrike.

    A Palestinian man walks among debris after an Israeli airstrike at Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's office in Gaza City, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.
    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Crowd here in Jabalia #Gaza suddenly got nervous as a rocket was fired out from nearby though cried out Allahu Akhbar

    Israeli Defence Forces

    tweets: 3 IDF soldiers in southern #Israel were injured by a rocket fired from #Gaza a short while ago. #IsraelUnderFire


    Fire and smoke are seen billowing from Gaza City after an airstrike on Saturday morning.

    An explosion and smoke are seen after Israeli strikes in Gaza City November 17, 2012.
    Katya Adler BBC News, Tel Aviv

    tweets: On #Israeli streets people say their gov would look weak if doesn't launch ground incursion after #Gaza rockets land in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv areas


    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has told Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that Israel is determined to achieve Operation Pillar of Defense's goals, Haaretz reports.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    I'm watching people tidying up the damage to their homes in Jabalia in #Gaza which they say were hit last night by an #Israel air strike.

    Richard Colebourn BBC Middle East senior producer

    tweets: Why #Lebanon won't be drawn into #Gaza conflict - despite many Palestinian camps, focus here is on #Iran and #Syria …

    Mohammed Suliman, Gaza

    told the BBC: "The only sound that you can hear here in the Gaza Strip is the sound of Israeli bombing and shellings. There is no safe haven that one can escape to.... everyone in Gaza seems to be in the range of danger, seems to be a target for Israeli bombs."


    Officials in Gaza have told Reuters that 38 Palestinians, half of them civilians, have been killed since Israel began its airstrikes.

    Hannah Rendell, Bersheeba

    has left her home in southern Israel and is now on her way to Britain. She told the BBC: "It was two days of absolute hell in Beersheba. Sirens going off in the night, every half an hour. Taking my kids out of bed every half an hour to the safe room. By three o'clock in the morning my three year he just had enough, he couldn't take it anymore."


    Tunisia's foreign minister Rafik Abdessalem has now arrived in Gaza on a visit to "provide political support". He is reported to be heading to the main al-Shifa hospital.

    Mohamed Zeyara

    tweets: The best soccer field in Gaza, just got bombed with 4 bombs. I remember watching the prime minister playing soccer on its first anniversary.


    Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reports that the Iron Dome anti-missile system has intercepted two rockets being fired toward Hazerim and Ashkelon.


    Tunisia's foreign minister Rafik Abdessalem is on his way to Gaza via Egypt. He is expected to arrive at the Rafah border crossing shortly.

    0743: Jon Donnison BBC News

    IDF spokesperson tells me only around 10 rockets fired out of Gaza since midnight. Says 180 plus targets in Gaza hit over same period.


    Palestinians are pictured here inspecting the site of an Israeli airstrike in Gaza city on Saturday morning.

    Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli air raid in Gaza City on November 17, 2012
    Noah Browning, Reuters

    tweets: #Gaza funeral, small & running, of what looks like Islamic Jihad militant killed in overnight strike

    Jon Donnison BBC News

    tweets: For those asking IDF has updated its figures on numbers of targets hit in Gaza since midnight to 180 plus. It has earlier said only 85.


    The New York Times has an op-ed from one of the Israeli negotiators in the Gilad Shalit case describing the assassination of Ahmed Jabari as a "grave and irresponsible strategic error".


    Airstrikes have apparently knocked out electricity substations in Gaza, leaving more than 400,000 in the south of the strip without power.


    The BBC's Jon Donnison in Gaza says the number of Palestinians killed since Wednesday has risen to 34.

    Majed Abusalama

    tweets: #Israel Warplanes hit a home in the refugee camp of #Jabalia, 280,000 residents live there. #GazaUnderAttack

    Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian

    tweets: At #Gaza City's Shifa hospital. Medics say there are no more ICU beds. Trying to evacuate patients to Egypt


    Foreign Policy has looked at whether the Arab Spring will affect Gaza's neighbours' response to the conflict. Egypt's prime minister visited Gaza on Friday and Tunisia's foreign minister is expected today.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: We're watching 2 #Israeli drones flying over #Gaza looking for targets. Their literally droning noise is drifting across the city


    Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reports that a rocket has exploded in the backyard of a house near Ashdod. No casualities were reported.

    Noah Browning, Reuters

    tweets: Four, massive, massive explosions, the loudest I've yet heard, in downtown #Gaza city airstrikes just now. Very dramatic nite just got worse


    Three militants are reported to have died in an Israeli airstrike on central Gaza this morning.


    Good morning and welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the Israel-Gaza violence. Stay with us for the latest updates, incorporating reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world, which you can send via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.


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