Israel intensifies operations against rocket attacks from Gaza

Friday, May 14

The Israeli military has announced that ground troops, alongside air troops, have started to attack the Gaza Strip.

The military announced the operation on Twitter. Hostilities between Israel and Palestine entered their fifth day on Friday -- some of the most violent fighting seen in years.

The death toll in Gaza, which is effectively controlled by the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas, reportedly climbed to 103, including children.

Daily rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel's largest city, Tel Aviv, and other parts of the country have killed seven people.

Israeli media say the country's defense minister authorized the military to call up a total of 16,000 reservist troops.

The current situation was triggered by the unrest in Jerusalem that began in mid-April, but the region has experienced previous conflicts in recent years.

In 2014, Israeli troops advanced into Gaza and left more than 2,000 people dead.

And in a three-week armed conflict in 2008, Israel's air campaign and ground troops killed about 1,300 people in the Gaza Strip.

The United States' ambassador to the United Nations said on Twitter that the UN Security Council will meet on Sunday to discuss the ongoing crisis.

The council's members already met privately this week, but were unable to reach consensus on a public statement.

Newsday/France 24

(Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)