Israeli warplanes struck dozens of militant sites in Gaza early on Thursday, the second day of Israel’s deadly offensive against Hamas and other militant groups, and rockets fired from the enclave reached far into Israel, killing three civilians when one struck an apartment block in a small southern town.
These were the first casualties on the Israeli side since Israel launched its campaign, the most ferocious assault on Gaza in four years in response to persistent Palestinian rocket fire.
A rocket on Thursday smashed into the top floor of an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi, about 15 miles north of Gaza. Two women and a man were killed, according to rescue officials. A baby was among the injured and several Israelis were hospitalized with shrapnel wounds after rockets hit other southern cities and towns, they said.