UK & World News
Israel Calls Up Thousands Of Reservists
Israel has approved the call-up of 30,000 reservists as it moves troops towards Gaza.
It increases the prospect of a ground war - while Palestinian militants fired rockets at Tel Aviv, Israel's main commercial city, for the first time in 20 years.
Sky's Middle East Correspondent Sam Kiley said: "In British terms, the number (of reservists) is pretty close to 10 brigades - a vast number of troops. These will be armour, infantry and specialists in support, but most likely to fill in the gaps likely to be left as troops are moved down towards Gaza.
"There's already been an increase in movement of ground troops close to Gaza, the movement of tanks and so on.
"If there is going to be a ground offensive, those troops have got to come from somewhere else and they would need to be back-filled.
"So, in all likelihood, this is all part of the military planning for a ground assault into Gaza, should the Israeli prime minister so order.
"It's part of the plan, but that order has not yet been given. But this is a strong indication that Israeli troops are preparing to go into the Gaza Strip."
Downing Street said Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening.
A spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister said that he was extremely concerned by the dangerous situation and deeply sorry for the loss of civilian life on both sides.
"He said the rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups were completely unacceptable and that the increasing frequency of rocket attacks in recent days was the immediate cause of the situation.
"He made clear that Hamas bears the principal responsibility for crisis.
"The Prime Minister said that the priority must be to de-escalate the crisis. He called on Mr Netanyahu to do all he could to avoid civilian casualties and emphasised that both sides needed to avoid a spiral of violence that would be in no-one's interest, particularly at a time of instability in the region."
France says its President, Francois Hollande, has spoken to Mr Netanyahu to try to avoid an escalation in the violence. And Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged both sides to exercise restraint.
Earlier, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired missiles at Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city, in a significant escalation in the conflict.
One fell in an open area near Rishon Lezion on the outskirts of Tel Aviv and caused no damage or injuries.
Air raid sirens later sounded in Tel Aviv and witnesses said they heard an explosion. But a military spokesman said that rocket had landed in the sea.
With claims that Palestinian militants fired nearly 150 rockets on Thursday, killing three people, defence officials said Israel was prepared to launch a ground invasion into Gaza, if necessary.
Mr Netanyahu said the army was prepared for a "significant widening" of its Gaza offensive. In a televised address, he said: "We will not tolerate a situation in which Israeli citizens are threatened by rocket fire."
Three people were killed in the Israeli town of Kiryat Malahi when a rocket hit an apartment block.
The casualties were the first since Israel's airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday which killed Hamas' top military commander Ahmed al Jaabari.
The White House said the US strongly condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.
Spokesman Jay Carney said there is "no justification" for the violence perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist organisations.
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi has rejected what he called Israel's aggression in Gaza, saying it threatened to destabilise the region. He has ordered his prime minister Hesham Kandil to lead a delegation to Gaza on Friday.
Egypt's Islamist administration has close ties with the Hamas movement and recalled its ambassador on Wednesday in protest at the Israeli action.
US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon both telephoned Mr Netanyahu ahead of an urgent UN Security Council meeting on the deteriorating situation.
According to the White House, Mr Obama reiterated US support for Israel's right to self-defence against rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip but urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties in the Palestinian territory.
They agreed that Hamas must stop the attacks, which have seen hundreds of rockets fired into Israel over the last five days, in order to allow tensions to ease.
Mr Ban told the Israeli PM of his expectation that "Israeli reactions are measured so as not to provoke a new cycle of bloodshed," the UN said.
He also expressed his concerns about "an alarming escalation of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel".
So far, at least 15 people, including Mr Jaabari, have been killed in more than 50 Israeli airstrikes - codenamed Operation Pillar Of Defence. Two young children were among the dead.
what do you think?
And were off you reap what you sow
Omg .here we go again.
At least another 30+ innocent Palestinians will die for this via air strikes and naval fire - it's the Israeli way. All could be avoided to Israelies would remove their presence from Palestinian land, but they can't now as there are too many Israelies too live inside Israel's borders, so they illegally occupy Palestine and the western governments support them in this. Yet we went to war with Germany for doing the very same thing in 1939!
Here we go you reap what you sow
Isn't this just a case of an election coming up in Israel and a worthless politician wanting to appear "tough" to the electorate? The media always distorts the news to make it appear that the Palestinians fired the first shot when in fact they are retaliating because of an initial Israeli attack.
Good point john Connor
Israel has military superiority and America's backing. Arabs have sheer manpower and its only time before they catch up with advanced military hardware. This area is a time bomb. As the minute America stops its support its will be an all out war.
Ali baba and Iran supply the Palestinians
i am iranian paul iran is a rogue state, for sure but the mullahs got into power with british/american help back in 1979. wow what a beautiful country iran once was
It's election time in Isreal so time to massacre Palestinians again. The exact same thing happened four years ago. Israel fired a missile (into an urban area) that killed senior members of Hamas - knowing full well that it would cause a reaction - and then used the reaction as a pretext to massacre hundreds of civilians.
Election`s must be coming up in Israel start a little war with Palestine makes the far right government look tough . How many children will die both sides in this madness.
Almost as an aside: 'Two young children were also among the dead'. This is the reality of the Israeli seige and violence against the Palestinian population. Defence for Children International list the hundreds of children killed by Israel. Israeli human rights group B'tselem also chronicle the daily violence committed by Israel on the Palestinians.
Go and look at B'tselem and see what conditions the Palestiniasn suffer under. B'tselem are an Israeli organisation who record and witness the daily brutality inflicted on the occupied Palestinians.
Before today's additional victims, Israel's attacks had claimed a high toll on Gaza. Between 8 and 13 November, Israel killed 6 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including three children and injured 52 others, including 12 children and 6 women,
As of 6 November ? 71 Palestinians had been killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip in 2012, and 291 injured, according to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. So Israel lies all the time about being a victim. Israel carries out a regular policy of killing Palestinians.
Says in the Old testament several times that " Israel did evil in the sight of of their God" Tread carefully Israel there is a fine line between defence and murder
Since 2009 314 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers. A further five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli civilians. This is over 100 Palestinians per year. By any measure this is a systematic and calculated policy of terrorism and intimidation by Israel. These killings are not reported by the 'mainstream' media in the UK.
Does Hague ever condemn the initial Israeli attacks on Gaza that lead to Palestinian retaliation?
Among others killed in Israeli air strikes in the last two days was the 11-month-old son of a BBC Arabic Service picture editor in Gaza City. The child, Omar, died from severe burns in hospital. His brother and uncle were critically injured.
Israel does what it has to do. If it listened to the doves of this world and people in this country that know absolutely nothing about how it actually is there would not be an Israel.
Take a look at presstv news and rt news for the pictures of the 20 murdered Palestinians since 14th of November- all horrific. One of which is a young man holding his murdered 11month old son that was burnt to death by an Israeli air strike. Its a chilling image. You can see the horror in his eyes. Expect him to do the natural thing when filled with a hatred so deep it will consume every drop of his rationality. Israel is like the big bully in the playground surrounded by his cowardly friends that support his actions. Palestine is the small kid that can't defend himself. When the bully is left on his own he has no power. I hope the day comes when the world turns its back on Israel. It has no industry, no wealth nothing. Its nothing more than a tactical land mass for western interests and as such is supplied with weaponry and the faculties to destroy its neighbours. Its so sad that people supporting them are alto supporting our corrupt politicians, bankers and weapons industry, unknowingly to them of course.
30000 troops??? Is the palastinian kids on school holiday must be to warrant that many troops
There's a storm a comin'