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IDF Begins Dropping Leaflets Telling Gazans to Leave Their Homes

The move is a possible prelude to a major offensive. IAF jets, helicopters and artillery pounding Gaza. Ten reported killed.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/12/2014, 10:08 PM

The IDF has begun dropping leaflets on certain parts of Gaza, telling residents to leave their homes, reported Channel 2 Saturday night. The move is being interpreted as a preparation for a possible ground offensive by the IDF.

Channel 2 also reported that the IDF is carrying out a combined large-scale operation by fighter jets, attack helicopters and artillery in Gaza Saturday night. The artillery was being fired at open spaces that could serve as launch sites for rockets.

Medical sources told AFP that ten people had been killed in the aerial attacks.

The operation may have been timed to forestall the rocket salvo against Tel Aviv that Hamas launched at about 9:00 p.m., after announcing earlier in the evening that it would do so. 

Experts including former Military Intelligence head Amos Yadlin said Saturday that a possible ground offensive should be aimed at achieving limited tactical goals, such as destruction of terror tunnels and hidden rockets.

According to Israeli media reports, there are attempts to mediate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. One such attempt is being led by Qatar, which sponsors Hamas and also has trade relations with Israel.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council unanimously called for a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza, while Britain's foreign minister said he would be discussing cease-fire efforts with his American, French and German counterparts on Sunday.

The 15-member Security Council issued a press statement calling for a de-escalation, restoration of calm and a resumption of Mideast peace talks.