Israel and Gaza militants exchange fire after deadly strikes
Israeli jets pounded militant targets in Gaza on Saturday as rockets rained on southern Israel, hours after a wave of Israeli airstrikes on the coastal enclave killed at least 11 people, including a senior militant and a 5-year-old girl.
The fighting that began Friday with Israel's dramatic targeted killing of a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad continued throughout the night, drawing the sides closer to an all-out war.
But the territory's Hamas rulers appeared to stay on the sidelines of the conflict, keeping its intensity somewhat contained, for now. Israel and Hamas have fought four wars and several smaller battles over the last 15 years at a staggering cost to the territory's 2 million Palestinian residents.
Shortly before noon, Israeli warplanes stepped up airstrikes in Gaza. After warning residents in phone calls, fighter jets dropped two bombs on the house of an Islamic Jihad member, flattening the west Gaza City two-story structure and badly damaging surrounding homes. Women and children rushed out of the area.