Israeli aerial offensive against Gaza rocket launchers enters third day


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JERUSALEM — Israel dramatically escalated its aerial assault in Gaza, now in its 3rd day, hitting hundreds of Hamas targets as its missile defense system once again intercepted rockets.

Military spokesman Peter Lerner said Thursday that Israel struck more than 300 Hamas targets overnight, focusing on underground tunnel networks and rocket launching sites. That brought the total number of targets hit to 750. The military said it struck a car in Gaza carrying three Islamic Jihad militants involved in firing rockets, raising the Palestinian death toll to at least 75.

Remnants of a long-range rocket fired from Gaza landed in a gas station in south Tel Aviv Thursday after being shot down by Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system. Militants have fired hundreds of rockets. No one in Israel has been harmed.

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