Israel initiated an offensive against the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip, bombing approximately 50 targets in a movement intended to disrupt any Palestinian rocket fire.

 Nine people suffered shrapnel injuries. Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said Israel was preparing for the possibility of sending ground forces into Gaza as part of the campaign, which it has dubbed “Operation Protective Edge.”

Israeli soldiers walk near the border with the central Gaza Strip July 14, 2014. Palestinian militants resumed rocket attacks on Tel Aviv on Monday after a 24-hour lull in strikes on the Israeli commercial capital, and Israel kept up its air and naval bombardments of the Gaza Strip despite growing international pressure for a ceasefire. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3YN87

Hamas’ armed wing threatened an “earthquake” in response to Israel’s attacks. In a statement, the group denounced Israel’s bombing of houses as “exceeding all red lines” and threatened to shoot rockets at longer distances. Lerner said Gaza militants had fired more than 80 rockets at Israel on Monday and military officials said more than 200 rockets had been shot at Israel in the past month, an enormous increase in shootings.

The surge in violence has raged since the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youths last month in the occupied West Bank and a Palestinian teen last week.

Source :