Israel carried out hundreds of air strikes in Gaza into Wednesday morning, as Hamas and other Palestinian militants fired multiple rocket barrages at Tel Aviv and Beersheba. The severity of violence has escalated as 43 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and five in Israel following airstrikes. One multi-story residential building in Gaza collapsed and another was heavily damaged after they were repeatedly hit by Israeli airstrikes. Israel said its jets had targeted and killed several Hamas intelligence leaders early on Wednesday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to expand the offensive, while Gaza militants unleashed a fierce late-night barrage of rockets that set off air-raid sirens and explosions throughout the densely populated Tel Aviv metropolitan area. It was the heaviest fighting between the bitter enemies since 2014, and it showed no signs of slowing.