As it happened: Gaza-Israel violence 18 November 2012

Key Points

  • Israel has attacked Gaza for a fifth day, after a Hamas commander was killed in an Israeli air strike on Wednesday
  • Sunday is the bloodiest day of the operation so far - the casualties included at least 10 Palestinians killed in a single air strike
  • Dozens more rockets have been fired from Gaza at several Israeli towns and cities including the commercial capital, Tel Aviv
  • The violence has claimed the lives of around 70 Palestinians, many of them civilians, and three Israeli civilians
  • All times are in GMT

    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.


    The IDF says it carried out two attacks at 0200 and 0650 local time "targeting antennas" on buildings "being used by Hamas to communicate with its forces in the field".

    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    tweets: For those who asked. Doctors say at least half of the 48 #Palestinians killed in the last 4 days were civilians.

    0703: Jon Leyne BBC Middle East correspondent

    Cairo is the centre of intense diplomatic activity, trying to end the Gaza conflict. Egypt is leading the mediation efforts. Also currently in town are the Hamas leader, Khaled Mashal, and two other key regional players - the Emir of Qatar and the Turkish prime minister. There's little evidence on the ground that either Israel or Hamas are ready yet to step back from confrontation, but the Egyptian leader President Morsi expressed optimism that a ceasefire might be possible soon.

    Jon Williams World News Editor

    tweets: #Israel's Foreign Press Association asking why 2 buildings housing journalists hit in #Gaza when IDF says targets "carefully chosen".


    According to the Israeli military two rockets were fired from Gaza at approximately 0800 local time, the first since yesterday. They landed on open ground near the border with no injuries or damage.


    Medical sources in Gaza say an 18 month-old baby has died in an Israeli air strike east of the Bureij refugee camp.


    After attacking a media centre used by foreign journalists and pro-Hamas media outlets, Israel appears to have taken over the frequencies of the radio stations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. A message was broadcast in Arabic warning people to stay away from Hamas. It said the IDF was "moving toward the second phase of its operation".

    Israel Defense Force

    tweets: The sites that we targeted overnight were all positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

    Noah Browning, Reuters

    tweets: Three children killed in #Gaza since midnight. Shelling from Israeli ships and airstrikes continue to present moment


    This picture shows an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Media Centre this morning. It is used by a pro-Hamas TV station and several foreign networks, including Sky News and ITN. At least six journalists were reported to be injured.

    Attack on Gaza Media Centre 18/11/12

    Four Palestinian rockets are reported to have been fired toward the Israeli border city of Ashkelon from Gaza

    Yolande Knell BBC Middle East online reporter

    Writes: It has taken a psychological adjustment for locals [in Tel Aviv] to realise that they too are now within the firing range of certain Palestinian rockets - believed to be the Iranian-made Fajr-5, which can reach up to 75km (45 miles).

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Sky have a permanent office in one of these buildings which was hit in #Gaza


    Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the Palestinian death toll since Operation Pillar of Defence began on Wednesday has risen to 51, with 300 people wounded.


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Barack Obama last night, according to his party's website. It reports that he thanked the US preseident for America's financial support for Israel's Iron Dome defence system, which has intercepted around third of the rockets fired by Hamas over the last five days.

    Noah Browning, Reuters

    tweets: Long-range rocket just launched from #Gaza


    Away from Gaza, Reuters reports that IDF has fired artillery into Syria in response to gunfire aimed at its troops in the Golan Heights.

    0751: Martin Horwood Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson

    told the BBC: "It is a very difficult when you have Hamas on the one side who have clearly not been containing these appalling rocket attacks on the civilian population of Israel - and in a sense are looking as though they're undermining the attempts by the more moderate Palestinian faction, Fatah, who are trying to pursue a diplomatic path through the United Nations at the moment - but on the other side perhaps you have hawks in Israel, who are really not helping the peace process by not over-reacting to this very serious situation."

    Bel Trew, Cairo

    tweets: On a convoy of solidarity buses heading to #Gaza from Cairo. Should be an interesting day. Wish us luck!


    Iranian lawmakers deny supplying Fajr-5 rockets to Hamas, according to a report on Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam TV network.

    Jon Donnison BBC News

    tweets: what sounds like airstrike in #Gaza now.

    Avi Mayer

    tweets: I'm currently close to the southern #Israel town of Sderot, near the border with #Gaza. Heard a couple of explosions a few minutes ago.


    A senior Hamas member has told the AFP news agency that a truce could be reached "today or tomorrow". The anonymous official said "there are serious talks to reach a truce", AFP reported.


    In this Haaretz piece, journalists Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff say Israel is not seeking to topple Hamas, just to rein it in.

    Dana Kraiche

    tweets: [Hezbollah leader] #Nasrallah says #Israel would be making "very big mistake" if it launches land operations in #Gaza, says #Hamas capable of facing that


    Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak is reported to be planning to ask the cabinet today for an extra NIS 750 million (£119m) to speed up the delivery of additional Iron Dome defence weapons systems.


    In a speech late last night, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah said any attempt by the IDF to launch a ground offensive in Gaza would be a "stupid mistake". "The resistance in Gaza has acquired power, determination, and planning capabilities and has filled [strategic] gaps," he said.

    Tovah Lazaroff

    tweets: Israel Radio reporting progress on cease fire talks in Cairo, quoting Hamas. Also says Morsi spoke with Hamas in Gaza by phone. #Jpost

    0826: Jon Donnison BBC News

    IDF says eight rockets fired at Israel since midnight. Three hit, four intercepted by iron dome. One landed in Gaza.

    Borzou Daraghi

    tweets: Iran Foreign Minister, parliamentarians & aid workers "ready" to visit Gaza if given permission by Egypt, Iran state TV reports


    French Foreign Minister Laurence Fabius is en route to Israel to "offer France's help to nreach an immediate ceasefire"

    0832: Yolande Knell BBC Middle East online reporter

    Sirens have been heard for a fourth day in Tel Aviv, Israel's cultural and commercial capital.


    Witnesses told Reuters that two explosions were heard after the sirens in Tel Aviv.

    Jon Donnison BBC News

    tweets: Large long range rocket just fired now from center of #Gaza in direction of Tel Aviv. Sirens now in Tel aviv


    Hamas' military wing has claimed responsibility for the rocket just fired at Tel Aviv, Reuters reports. The Iron Dome defence system is reported to have intercepted the missile.


    Israeli police say two more rockets have been fired toward Tel Aviv, both of them shot by the Iron Dome system.

    Moav Vardi

    tweets: Tony Blair, will arrive Israel today. Will meet PM Netanyahu in an effort to achive cease fire.


    A house in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon has apparently taken a direct rocket hit. Injuries and damage are reported.

    Kevin Maguire Daily Mirror associate editor

    tweets: Is Israel hitting a block used by int media, incl Sky, a bid to stop world seeing what it does in Gaza?


    Netanyahu tells his weekly cabinet meeting: "Hamas is paying a high price. We are ready for serious broadening of the operation", Haaretz reports.

    Joseph Dana

    tweets: Just reached Asheklon. Streets are not empty and there are a lot of soldiers in transit to the Gaza border

    0901: Jon Donnison BBC News

    In the early hours of the morning the Israeli navy began shelling Gaza from the sea. Artillery fire is generally less accurate than airstrikes. Israel says it was targeting underground rocket launching sites and Hamas training areas. Hamas health officials here say a one year-old boy and a three year-old girl are among those who died overnight.


    Images from the attacks and protests in Gaza and the West Bank over the last 24 hours are up here.

    Gigi Ibrahim

    tweets: The 8-bus Gaza convoy is escorted by two police cars as part of "safety protocol" الشرطة في خدمة الشعب [tr: the police are in the service of the people] #Egypt4Gaza


    Reports of a major airstrike in Gaza in the last few minutes.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: #Israeli official tells BBC in Jerusalem operation will go on in parallel to attempts to reach a diplomatic solution for prolonged ceasefire

    Inigo Gilmore

    tweets: Wail of sirens just now in Tel Aviv. Different reax: 1 woman casually walking. A young guy started running around. 2 colleagues sighed and shrugged


    The Foreign Press Association has put out this statement regarding today's attacks on two media centres in Gaza. It references UN Security Council Resolution 1738, which "condemns attacks against journalists in conflict situations".


    Five Palestinian civilians have been killed in airstrikes so far today, Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra told AP, including four children. Two of the children, a 3 year-old girl and a 5 year-old boy, were from the same family and were killed by an airstrike on their home in the Jebaliya refugee camp.


    Israeli soldiers watch as an Iron Dome launcher fires a rocket to intercept missiles fired from Gaza near the southern city of Ashdod.

    IDF troops watch Iron Dome launch, Ashdod, 18/11/12
    Tweet Palestine

    tweets: BREAKING: Fatalities & casualties reported in Israeli airstrike that targeted civilians in Beach Camp, west of #Gaza City


    One of the journalists injured during an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Media Centre lost his leg in the attack, according to reports.


    Haaretz reports that a car has caught fire in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv, after it was hit by shrapnel from an Iron Dome rocket interception.

    0940: Richard Faulk UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights

    has just published this op-ed on Al Jazeera's website. He says aside from the grievances of each party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "one side is militarily omnipotent and the other side crouches helplessly in fear".

    Israel Defense Force

    tweets: Minutes ago, the IDF targeted the site in Gaza from where the rocket was fired at Tel Aviv.

    Latipah, Gaza

    emails: Enormous explosions and continuous bombings have been on-going for the longest I've ever witnessed since the attacks started in Gaza on Wednesday. The warplanes have become indscriminate; shelling houses, TV offices, motobikes, empty lands, even poultry farms, everywhere.


    A demonstration in the Indonesian capital Jakarta against Israeli attacks on Gaza has now moved to the US Embassy, Indonesian Detikcom website reports. It says thousands of people have gathered outside the embassy to demand that the US put pressure on Israel to stop its military operation.

    Erin Cunningham

    tweets: I count five buses of Egyptian activists on way to Rafah border. Police cars on either end of convoy. #Gaza


    One person has been killed and another four wounded on Sunday in an Isreali strike on a beachfront refugee camp in Gaza City, hospital sources and eyewitnesses told AFP.


    One Israeli has been seriously wounded in rocket attack on Sha'ar Hanegev, Haaretz reports.

    Leah, Jerusalem

    emails: I am living in Jerusalem as a student studying the bible at a seminary there. The warning siren for a rocket was sounded here on Friday night. This is the first time I have experienced this, but to the Israelis around me it was nothing new. My heart goes out to the citizens of the south of Israel who have lived life like this for years, under constant rocket bombardment from Gaza.

    0956: Douglas Alexander UK Shadow Foreign Secretary

    told the BBC: "I've already called for an end to the violence. Look at the retired head of Shin Bet, the Israeli security forces: he says a ground invasion would give Hamas exactly what it wants. We will see more loss of life. Just four years ago I was the first British minister into Gaza, after Operation Cast Lead. On that occasion there were a hundred Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed; already in the last three days there have tragically been the deaths of three Israelis, but more than forty Palestinians."


    In this picture, Palestinian children walk past homes destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

    Palestinians children walk past destroyed buildings in Rafah on November 18, 2012
    Mahir Zeynalov, Turkish journalist

    tweets: Two Turkish journalists and their driver were wounded in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza this morning.


    Israel Defence Force says that overnight it targeted Hamas' Saraya primary training and command base, a communications facility, underground rocket launchers and Hamas operatives.

    Israel Defence Force

    tweets: Fact: We coordinated the transfer of 124 trucks of goods & gas to #Gaza today, including medical supplies & dairy products.

    1014: Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    We've been down to the main hospital in Gaza a number of times and the emergency wards were full. Every minute medical staff were bringing in new victims of Israeli strikes. The longer this goes one, the more likely they are to run out of materials.


    BBC producer Avi Halfon filmed the aftermath of a rocket strike on a house in the town of Ashkelon (see 0851 entry)


    Hamas's militant wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, says on its website that "for the first time ever, we have fired an upgraded rocket at Herzliyya, located 80km from Gaza", BBC Monitoring reports. The website adds that since this morning, the Qassam Brigades have "targeted enemy posts with 34 rockets". "Most prominent of these was the targeting of Tel Aviv and a warship," the report says.

    1035: William Hague UK Foreign Secretary

    told Sky News: The Prime Minister and I have both stressed to our Israeli counterparts that a ground invasion of Gaza would lose Israel a lot of the international support and sympathy that they have in this situation, that of course it's much more difficult to restrict and avoid civilian casualties during a ground invasion and that a large ground operation would threaten to prolong the conflict.

    Hadar, Tel Aviv, Israel

    emails: I live in a Kibbutz near Kiryat Malachi, a town which suffered fatal attacks of Hamas rockets in recent days, and I am now staying with family in Tel-Aviv because I couldn't take it anymore - every Hamas rocket which hit Kiryat Malachi or Ashdod caused my small house to tremble severely!

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Another #Israeli air strike hits #Gaza city this time in the north west

    Noah Browning, Reuters

    tweets: Doctors: 4-yr old girl & uncle sitting on beach killed by #Israel naval shelling - total Gazans killed now 53, 15 of them kids

    1047: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    The IDF has told BBC it knew foreign media were in at least one of the buildings in Gaza when it was hit. Says they were not the target.

    1051: Katya Adler BBC News

    People in Israel are less gung-ho than before the last big military incursion into Gaza in 2008/9. They want rockets to stop but there is much apprehension here. Although neither side wants a ground invasion, neither Hamas nor Israel want to be seen to be the first to 'back down'.

    Lauren Bohn

    tweets: #Israel IDF says it can't confirm or deny taking over #Hamas radio #Gaza

    David Levy

    writes in the Daily Beast: "One does not have to be a card-carrying member of Cynics Anonymous to suggest that the timing of the Israeli escalation has rather a lot to do with the approaching elections in Israel. It would also, though, be mistaken to view events exclusively through that lens."

    Borzou Daraghi, FT

    tweets: Pro-Gaza protests in Arab cities have been surprisingly tepid. Maybe there'd be more outrage if Israel made movie mocking the Prophet

    Ibrahim Hasan Adow, Mogadishu-Somalia

    emails: Inshallah in the near future justice will be done and the Palastinian people will get peace and stabillity, by the side of Israel.

    1120: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    has just posted this audio recording of an IDF spokesperson discussing the strike on a media centre in Gaza earlier today. She advised journalists visiting Gaza to "stay away from Hamas positions or Hamas sites or Hamas homes for their own safety".

    1123: Tony Laurance World Health Organisation

    told the BBC: " [Hospitals in Gaza are] in severe shortage of drugs and disposables - cotton wool, gauze, anti-septic, you know, IV fluids and so on. More than half of those kind of items were out of stock before all this began. And that's our worry: You can't just stop everything in a health system and just deal with the casualties."

    Adam, Tel Aviv, Israel

    emails: This situation is crazy, hearing the siren in Tel Aviv is surreal. Tel Aviv is a huge city and the alarms send 4 million people into bomb shelters, what country could accept this!?

    Jane Kinninmont Senior Research Fellow, Chatham House

    tweets: European diplomat tells me Gaza violence is likely to increase the number of EU countries willing to support the Palestinian UN bid

    1129: Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    While there's been confirmation from both sides that attempts to reach a cease-fire are still going on in Cairo, in and around Gaza itself there's been barely any let up in the exchange of fire.

    1131: Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    Today Israel opened one of the main goods crossings into Gaza to allow in several truck loads of medical supplies and other emergency equipment. Aid agencies are warning that supplies in Gaza's hospitals are running low, and will become critical in the event of a wider conflict.

    Joseph Dana

    tweets: Incredible amount of Israeli movement of machinery and troops to the border with Gaza.


    According to Haaretz, the Iron Dome defence system has intercepted a rocket en route to Netivot, two headed for Ofakim, and two fired at Sderot.

    Jenan Moussa, Al Aan TV

    tweets: Bottom line. #Israel knew journalists were in the two buildings they hit in #Gaza and they still hit them. Worrying.


    Israeli soldiers prepare tanks at an army deployment area near the border with Gaza.

    Israeli soldiers prepare tanks gathered at the border with Gaza 18/11/12

    Further clashes between protesters and Israeli security forces are reported to have broken out at the Howara checkpoint near Nablus in the West Bank.

    Mehdi Hasan Huffington Post

    tweets: Memo to neocons: difference between treatment of Syria & Israel, of course, is that latter is our ally, former isn't. Ergo greater outrage.


    ITV has posted this video of the damage to the media centre in Gaza hit by an Israeli airstrike today, injuring eight Palestinian journalists.

    Joseph Dana

    tweets: With every rocket and air strike dogs in Sderot go mad. It is one of the sounds of this place along with drones, sirens and F16s.


    Israeli radio says that since the start of the Israeli operation in Gaza, the army has hit 1,000 targets. Army sources have told the station that "there are still targets to be attacked".

    Lyse Doucet Chief International Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Sirens sound in #ashkelon, hear rounds going both ways. #Israel #Gaza


    The AFP news agency describes the scene at the beachfront Shati refugee camp in Gaza city, where a 13 year-old girl and another man were killed earlier: "Shattered glass littered the floor by a large pool of blood, as women screamed and wept hysterically. A nearby minibus was peppered with holes, its windows all blown out by the blast."


    Israeli President Shimon Peres tells Sky News: "We appreciate the efforts of the president of Egypt to introduce a ceasefire. But until now, as you know, Hamas has rejected the proposal of the Egyptian president as well. Basically, our purpose is peace. Their purpose is to destroy Israel."


    UN Secretary General Bank Ki-moon is due to arrive in Egypt on Monday for talks with the Egyptian president and other officials. The situation in Gaza is likely to be discussed.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: IDF says "By placing communication infrastructure on roofs of media buildings, #Hamas uses the foreign journalists as HumanShields" #Gaza

    John, Great Cacapon, USA

    emails: Besieged Palestinian Gaza is an experiment in provocation. Stuff one and a half million people into a tiny space, stifle their access to water, electricity, food and medical treatment, destroy their livelihoods... and, surprise, surprise - they turn hostile.

    Nadia el-Magd

    tweets: Arab league secretary general Nabil ElAraby and a number of Arab Foreign ministers to visit #Gaza Tuesday


    Palestinians inspect a destroyed home in Gaza City following an Israeli airstrike on Sunday.

    Palestinians inspect a destroyed home in Gaza City following an Israeli airstrike 18/11/12

    Haaretz reports that the Israeli Chief of Staff has just concluded a meeting assessing the military situation and instructed the IDF to pick up the pace of strikes on Gaza.

    Sheera Frenkel

    tweets: Lots of rumours of journalists "trapped" in #gaza by #Hamas. They are false. Journalists freely leaving through Erez now

    1237: Jon Donnison BBC News

    Rocket just fired now from Gaza


    Iran's parliamentary speaker has said Tehran expects regional countries to send weapons to the Palestinians to help them fight Israel. "Although political measures taken by the regional countries are admirable, they are definitely not sufficient," Ali Larijani said in remarks reported by the official IRNA news agency.

    1245: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    Reports from Gaza: "Suddenly hospitals busting with activity. Two children have been brought in, one covered in blood and his brother hysterical"


    President Barack Obama says the US is fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself, but his administration is also actively working with parties in the region to end the firing of Hamas missiles without the further escalation of violence.


    President Obama also said that he has told the region's leaders that continued violence in Gaza makes it harder to pursue a Middle East peace deal.

    David, London, England

    emails: Every civilian hurt or killed in Gaza can be attributed to Hamas... They intentionally take their own civilians as human shields and store and fire rockets from residential buildings and populated areas.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Half of the casualties arriving at Shifa hospital in #Gaza in last half an hour have been children injured in #Israeli air strikes


    A Palestinian Christian lights a candle during a prayer to show solidarity with Gaza at a Catholic church in the West Bank town of Beit Jala near Bethlehem.

     Palestinian lights a candle in a church near Bethlehem for Gaza November 18, 2012
    Tweet Gaza

    tweets: There are around 60 injured in clashes in Tulkarem when university students protested against the Israeli attack on #Gaza


    President Obama on Israel/Gaza: "There's no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders... we are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself."

    1309: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    The injured arriving at Shifa hospital in Gaza are from an air attack north of Gaza city. Three dead - one woman, two children. Ten injured.


    Ahead of a meeting with France's foreign minister, Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said "the first and absolute condition for a truce is stopping all fire from Gaza".

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: A nurse has broken down and is crying in the corner her colleagues are trying to comfort her. Awful scenes here


    AFP reports deaths of three Palestinians - two women and a man - as well as 10 wounded in new aerial attack, citing Gaza emergency services.


    Hamas-run al-Quds TV quotes Arab League General Secretary Nabil al-Arabi as saying that a delegation of Arab ministers will visit Gaza on Tuesday, BBC Monitoring reports.


    Israel's Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aaronovitch says a ground operation in Gaza is certainly "an option", meanwhile the air force has "plenty of targets", Israel Army Radio reports.


    Israel Radio reports rockets being fired from Gaza at Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malakhi and Gan Yavneh. Three fell in a residential area of Ashdod and seven people were treated for shock.

    1350: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Utterly frantic scenes here as people struggle to find survivors. It doesn't look very hopeful. Men are dragging away rocks and rubble with their hands trying to get to the people underneath. It seems impossible anyone alive


    An unidentified senior Israeli official has arrived in Cairo for ceasefire talks, according to AP news agency quoting Egyptian security officials.

    1409: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Most of the casualties are from the family of a #Hamas man whose house was hit. The rest are his neighbours


    Rescue efforts at a Hamas man's family home after an Israeli airstrike on northern Gaza. Most of the casualties are from the man's family but some neighbours were caught up in the blast as well.

    Rescue efforts after Israeli air strike on Hamas man's family home
    IDF spokesperson

    tweets: A short while ago, a rocket fired from #Gaza hit the Israeli town of Ofakim, directly hitting a car. Reports of injuries

    1425: Jon Donnison BBC News

    Gaza health ministry now saying at least 58 dead since Wednesday. Numbers look set to rise. Four children killed today including a one-year-old boy and three-year-old girl. A number of people missing under rubble. At least 560 injured since Wednesday.


    Rocket that landed beside a car in Ofakim leaves two people with moderate to severe wounds, Israel Army Radio reports. Another rocket hits house in Ashdod - it is not yet known if anyone was hurt, the station's website says.

    1432: Egyptian activist Gigi Ibrahim

    tweets: Protest now at the #RafahBorder to let us into#Gaza ..seems like they will not let anyone in

    1439: Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent
    Rubble of house of Hamas man in Gaza City (18 Nov 2012)

    Ten people now confirmed killed at this bombed house in #Gaza City - at least four of them children. #Israel has bombed the homes of at least 7 Hamas officials today. Several civilians have also been killed, many of them children.

    1445: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief
    Rubble at the house of Hamas man Jamal Dalou (18 Nov 2012)

    tweets: Jamal Dalou was Hamas man targeted. Now reports he may have been killed in strike. 9 of his family are dead say #Hamas.


    The Israeli air strike on the three-storey building in Gaza City was the highest figure for deaths in a single incident in five days of fighting, Reuters news agency reports. Three women, six children and one man died, the agency says.

    1452: Yolande Knell BBC Middle East online reporter

    Senior PLO Official and member of Fatah Central Committee Nabil Shaath on his way to #Gaza. Expected to arrive tonight through Rafah.

    1454: Alqassam Brigades

    tweets: Al Qassam Brigades shelling Ofakim settlement, 4settlers were reported seriously injured.

    1457: Jon Donnison BBC News

    Latest Gaza health ministry figures: 18 people killed today in #Gaza. 9 children, 4 women. 64 total since Wednesday, 24 children and 8 women...&rising

    1457: Avi Mayer from Jerusalem

    tweets: While having lunch in Sderot, we asked our waitress how people get used to the reality of rocket fire. "You don't get used to it," she said.

    1458: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    #Hamas man who was killed in the air strike was called Mohamed Dalou. On TV in #Gaza images of 5 dead children from his family in morgue.


    Five people were hurt in a rocket attack from Gaza on the Israeli town of Ofakim, according to Israeli media. Quoting Channel 2 TV, The Times of Israel says a mother and father and their infant were hit by shrapnel as they tried to take cover beside their car. The infant was lightly hurt, the parents are in a moderate to serious condition. Two others were lightly hurt.

    1509: Yolande Knell BBC Middle East online reporter

    #Israel Dep PM Moshe Yaalon:"We did not intend to target journalists" in #Gaza. Says Israel Defense Forces used attack helicopters on military antennas.


    Israel Radio says that an Israeli army attack has "apparently killed" Hamas's rocket corps commander Yahya Abaya, BBC Monitoring reports.


    Israel army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has ordered troops to "continue the strikes on terrorist infrastructures and key activists" and to "step up the pace of the raids in the Gaza Strip", Israel Radio reports, according to BBC Monitoring.


    Israeli radio is also reporting that Egypt is facing difficulties in talks with Hamas owing to opposition from other organisations operating in the Gaza Strip. Israel has sent an unidentified representative for talks with the Egyptian security apparatus.

    1520: IDF spokesman

    tweets: Some numbers from the last 4 days: 544 rockets fired from #Gaza hit #Israel + 302 Iron Dome interceptions = 846 rockets fired at us


    Israel's Iron Dome missile shield was tested in combat for the first time in April 2011. According to the Israeli army, it has knocked out more than 300 rockets fired at Israel in the past four days. See this BBC online explanation of the radar defence system developed in the aftermath of the 2006 conflict with Hezbollah.

    1530: Jon Donnison BBC News

    Massive explosion in centre of Gaza City.


    The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says the pace of diplomacy is stepping up. On Saturday night, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal met Egyptian, Turkish and Qatari leaders. An Israeli delegation is currently in talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo. On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrives in the Egyptian capital and, on Tuesday, Arab ministers are due to travel to Gaza.

    Rana in Gaza

    tweets: Two raids now heard in #Gaza.

    1534: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    Huge explosion in central #Gaza just now but too dark to see where.


    Reuters has this article detailing claims by Israeli security forces that some of Hamas's longer range rockets have been stripped of weapons so they can travel further.

    1544: Alqassam Brigades

    tweets: "Massacre against Ad-Dalo family will not go unpunished". In response to massacre committed by #Israeli occupation, led to killing 10 civilians, Al Qassam Brigades shelling Israeli sites and bases.


    Palestinian journalists' group Mada has accused Israel of "trying to silence the press in Gaza", the Ma'an news agency reports.

    1548: Adam Cartier in Tel Aviv/Herzliya, Israel

    emails: I am a student living in Israel, originally from Hampstead, UK. This is the first time that I have been in Israel at a time like this. The threat of rocket fire on southern cities and in the Tel Aviv area has put the country on edge. At times such as these I can truly appreciate how Israel is a nation and despite being under fire, Israelis are sticking together and trying to live life normally.

    Rachel Shabi

    tweets: Obama can't be 'actively working' for ceasefire while 'fully supportive' of #Israel and claiming Hamas started it


    Speaking earlier in Bangkok, President Barack Obama said that "Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory", but he said it was "preferable" for the people of Gaza and for Israelis that the crisis come to an end "without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza".


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a cabinet meeting earlier on Sunday, emphasising the efforts being made to avoid hitting civilians. He said the "operation in the Gaza Strip is continuing and we are prepared to expand it". He would, he said, continue to speak to world leaders.


    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will discuss the crisis with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, on the sidelines of the Asean meeting in Phnom Penh, Russian Interfax news agency reports, as seen by BBC Monitoring. "I shall have a meeting with Hillary Clinton on the morning of 20 November," Lavrov told journalists before leaving for Cambodia, adding that they would talk about the situation in the Gaza Strip.

    1559: Jon Donnison

    tweets: Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh calls deaths of at least 9 people in Dalou Family in #Gaza including 4 children an "ugly massacre"


    Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the Israel-Gaza violence which has continued for five days. An air strike on the house of Hamas official Mohamed Dalou has left at least nine people dead - the highest single loss of life since the crisis erupted on Wednesday. Rockets have been targeted at several Israeli towns and cities, with a couple and their infant being wounded near Ofakim and at least people hurt in a direct hit on a house in Ashkelon. Meanwhile, ceasefire efforts are continuing in Cairo.

    1609: Joshua Hersh Huffington Post

    tweets: Retired Israeli military officer tells me IDF has exhausted targets in open areas, now has to hit Hamas closer to homes. Casualties will rise.


    Here is some of the damage in Gaza City, as seen by Associated Press photographer Adel Hana.

    A Palestinian woman walks past damage in Gaza City (18 Nov 2012)

    The Palestinian Ma'an news agency now reports that 11 people were killed in the Israeli air strike on Hamas man Mohamed Dalou's home. Four of the dead were children and four were women, it reports.

    1625: Jon Donnison BBC News

    tweets: On its email updates for media IDF seems to be no longer putting figures for number of daily rockets fired out #Gaza as they used to


    Israeli media report that Israel's Iron Dome missile shield has shot down two rockets over Ashkelon. Earlier, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak (L) visited a battery deployed near Tel Aviv on Friday with the US ambassador, Dan Shapiro.

    Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak and US ambassador Dan Shapiro visiting the Iron Dome battery nearTel Aviv (18 Nov 2012)

    Israel Radio reports on a meeting between PM Benjamin Netanyahu and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. "First it's necessary to stop [the fighting], then we''ll be ready to talk about other matters," the Israeli PM says. Israel cannot continue to be in the line of fire, he adds. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says Israel will cease fire only when Hamas and other militant organisations halt rocket attacks completely, the station's website says.


    Air raid sirens heard in Tel Aviv, Reuters news agency reports, citing witnesses.

    1644: Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    Another airstrike just landed in central #Gaza

    1646: Barak Ravid, Ha'aretz diplomatic correspondent

    tweets: Big explosion not far from my house in the centre of Tel Aviv.


    Israeli army says rocket intercepted by Iron Dome anti-missile battery in Tel Aviv, reports AFP


    Gaza health ministry says the number of people killed in Gaza since Wednesday has risen to 67, says BBC Gaza producer Rushdi abu Alouf.

    Eric Schorr

    tweets: Sirens blaring in #TelAviv right now. #IsraelUnderFire #PillarOfDefense


    Israel Army Radio reports that for the second time on Sunday a rocket was fired at Tel Aviv and was shot down by Iron Dome. Sirens heard throughout Tel Aviv.


    Israeli police spokesman says two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv from Gaza, both shot down by Iron Dome, Reuters reports. Israel's Channel Two TV also reported two explosions and two interceptions by missile protection system.


    Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev tells BBC News that diplomatic efforts are going on in parallel with the operation in Gaza but declines to specify the stage they have reached.


    "We understand the significance of a ground operation, first and foremost for our own soldiers," Mr Regev tells the BBC. "So obviously such a decision is not taken lightly. On the other hand the goal of bringing peace and quiet to the people of southern Israel has to be fulfilled."


    Reporting on the ongoing ceasefire efforts in Cairo, BBC correspondent Jon Leyne sees it as quite a good sign that the politicians do not want to talk about diplomacy "because it probably means something is being done".


    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who has been meeting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, says: "We would like to help in reaching the terms for a quick ceasefire. Other questions remain to be answered, especially in the long term, and that applies to the negotiations. But we're insisting on the urgency and the need to reach a ceasefire."

    French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius (L) speaks during a press conference with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman (18 Nov 2012)

    Here is Laurent Fabius (L) at a press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem.


    Reporters without Borders has condemned the Israeli air strikes on two media buildings in Gaza City. "Even if the targeted media support Hamas, this does not in any way legitimise the attacks," the group says.


    Two media buildings were hit in Gaza and eight Palestinian journalists were wounded, one of whom had to have a leg amputated. Hamas television channel al-Quds TV, Sky News and ITN were among the media organisations using the buildings. Reporters without Borders said five missiles hit 11th-floor offices used by al-Quds TV, wounding four al-Quds TV employees and two others. Employees of Hamas channel al-Aqsa TV were seriously hurt in the second attack, the group said. This is the aftermath of the attack on the building housing al-Aqsa TV.

    Hamas tv channel al-Aqsa TV attacked in Gaza City (18 Nov 2012)

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls for an intensification of peaceful demonstrations against Israel, reports AFP.


    Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz says more than 44 million hacking attacks have been made on government websites since Israeli air strikes were launched on Gaza on Wednesday, Reuters reports. Just one was successful, but the site involved was up and running 10 minutes later.


    There has been no let-up in the violence on Sunday, with 21 Palestinians killed in Gaza and many more wounded, both in Gaza and in Israel. In the deadliest attack, at least 10 people died, including eight members of Hamas official Mohamed al-Dalu's family. Six people, four of them children, were killed in earlier attacks. And later on Sunday, two men were killed in Gaza City and a father and son died in Jabaliya. Another death was reported later in Nuseirat refugee camp.


    Here is the crater left by the Israeli air strike on what was Hamas official Mohamed al-Dalu's family home in Gaza City.

    crater left by air strike in Gaza City (18 Nov 2012)
    Jon Donnison BBC News

    tweets: Massive blast in #Gaza City sounded very close to where we are


    Seven people were wounded in southern Israel as rocket fire continued from Gaza throughout Sunday. Two rockets were shot down by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system. Four people, including a couple and their young child, were hurt when a rocket landed near a car in Ofakim. Close to the Gaza Strip, one person was badly wounded by a rocket in Sha'ar HaNegev. This was the aftermath of the attack in Ofakim.

    Car damaged in Ofakim, Israel (18 Nov 2012)
    1801: Akiva Goldberg in Jerusalem, Israel

    writes: My aunt and uncle live in Ashdod, they have been sleeping in a basement bomb shelter for the past week, at least trying to sleep, with sirens blaring and rockets blowing up every hour or so, it is difficult to get any rest. They will be coming to stay with us in Jerusalem, but the rockets are now coming here as well. What are we supposed to do?


    Ha'aretz newspaper in Israel reports that an Israeli envoy in talks in Cairo is seeking a twin-stage ceasefire. First a "small calm", in which Israeli air strikes and Gaza rocket fire would halt, and then talks leading to a "big calm".


    "All the streets in my area are dark because they lack electricity. There are no people in the streets since sunset because people are afraid to go out," Motasem Dalloul in Gaza City tells BBC News. "There is damage to the electricity grid and the water network. There are also some difficulties with mobile phone connections."

    1812: Jon Donnison BBC News

    "I can hear the warplanes in the skies above me. There have been several loud explosions and Gazans are settling down for a very long night."

    Mohammed Suliman

    tweets: A new scary air strike just shook me in my seat. I have not flinched this time. Gradually getting used to it


    Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have staged protests against the air attacks on Gaza. Several protesters were reportedly hurt in the West Bank city of Nablus when tear gas was fired to disperse stonethrowers. Ma'an news agency in Bethlehem said in total over 21 people had been hurt. This was the scene in Nablus:

    Palestinian stonethrower in Nablus (18 Nov 2012)
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (18 Nov 2012)

    In his televised statement in Ramallah on Sunday evening, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the bid for Palestine to become a UN "non-member observer state", due to take place on 29 November, would go ahead as planned.

    1840: CNN's Ben Wedeman

    tweets: Surreal: 830 PM in #Gaza City and all I can hear is wailing cats below and many buzzing drones above. No sound of people.


    "The United States of America has got to push as hard as we can to resolve this Israeli-Palestinian issue," says Republican Senator John McCain on CBS TV. "I'd find someone even as high ranking as former President Bill Clinton to go and be the negotiator."


    About 500 Egyptian activists have crossed into Gaza to deliver medical supplies and show support for Palestinians, reports AP news agency. "We are telling the Palestinians that we are on their side," said activist Adam Mubarak.


    Five buses carrying Egyptian activists had travelled to the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza, all from different political parties and movements, AFP reports.

    1900: IDF spokesperson

    tweets: Some numbers: 76 rockets fired from #Gaza hit #Israel + 38 Iron Dome interceptions = 114 rockets fired at us just today

    1906: Wael ‏@WillOuda

    tweets: 9:00PM explosion somewhere in the distance north #Gaza

    1909: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius

    tweets: France is a force for peace, war must be avoided. I tried to discuss with the two sides and bring their views together. The two words of the moment this evening: urgence and ceasefire


    Ma'an news agency reports that Israeli fighter jets fired missiles at the home of al-Qassam Brigades leader Marwan Issa in the central Gaza Strip.


    Unclear reports emerging from talks in Cairo, after unnamed Israeli envoy meets Egyptian officials. Some suggesting talks have failed. Ynet news reports that Islamic Jihad senior official is to meet Egypt's President Mursi.

    Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor

    tweets: In #Gaza constant whine of drones overhead. Sounds like a distant lawnmower. Occasional blasts as well.

    David, Coventry, England

    emails: How reassuring that Obama agrees that the missiles raining down (on Israel) would not be acceptable to any nation on earth - one can only hope he applies this eqaully as vigorously to missiles raining down into Gaza.


    From BBC Monitoring: Hamas' ability to fire rockets from Gaza is "declining", according to Israel Defense Forces spokesman Brigadier General Yo'av Mordekhay, speaking to Voice of Israel radio. Gen Mordekhay said that "hundreds of rockets fired from mosques, chapels, and houses have started to fall within the boundaries of the Gaza Strip and in open spaces."


    AFP news agency reports medical sources as saying two Palestinians have been killed in a new Israeli strike on Gaza.

    Journalist Erin Cunningham

    tweets: Just in Khan Younis, was extremely calm and people were out on the streets as normal, incl children. Reports now of a major strike there.


    For tweets from our correspondents reporting on the ground in Gaza and Israel, you can subscribe to this list.


    More from AFP on the latest Israeli raid: The two latest deaths were in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Tal al-Hawa, according to a spokesman from the Hamas-run health ministry.

    Rushdi Abu Alouf BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: HUGE explosions just hit central #Gaza My house is Shaking #israel


    A third Palestinian, a six-year-old child, was killed in another strike in northern Gaza on Sunday evening, AFP reports.

    CNN's Ben Wedeman

    tweets: Huge roar as outgoing rocket shoots out of central #Gaza city...much bigger than the old home-made variety. Now incoming blast.


    An explosion has been heard in the past hour in the southern resort city of Eilat, according to Israel Radio. The source of the blast is currently being investigated.


    There have been no reports of damage or casualties in Eilat after a blast was heard there on Sunday evening, Israeli police have told Reuters. "After a sweep of the city nothing has so far been found. Police and the army are searching the hills around the city," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

    Israeli Defense Forces

    tweet: Update: Iron Dome just intercepted 3 more rockets fired from #Gaza aimed at major Israeli population centers

    Journalist Ayman Mohyeldin

    tweets: Israeli navy just fired 4 Shells into #gaza 11:30pm

    Jon Donnison BBC News

    tweets: This looks like being another tough night for #gazans. heavy shellling from Israeli warships. seems closer than last night #gaza


    We are now ending our live coverage of the violence between the Israeli military and Hamas in Gaza. Remember you can check back on the BBC News website for the latest information throughout the night and with our correspondents on the ground in Gaza and Israel on Twitter.


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