JERUSALEM -- The Israeli army intensified its offensive on the Gaza Strip, striking Hamas sites and killing at least eight people on the second day of a military operation. The operation has set off the heaviest fighting between Israel and militant group Hamas since an eight-day battle in November 2012. Militants unleashed rocket salvos deep into Israeli territory, and Israel mobilized thousands of forces along the Gaza border for a possible ground invasion into the Palestinian territory.
Since the offensive began Tuesday, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Hamas-run Gaza, killing at least 32 people. The strikes from air and sea came after militants fired more than 160 rockets at Israel, including one that reached the northern Israeli city of Hadera for the first time. The city is about 60 miles from Gaza. The army said it attacked more than 160 sites in Gaza early Wednesday, including 118 concealed rocket-launching sites, six Hamas compounds, 10 militant command centers, weapons storage facilities and 10 tunnels used for militant activity and to ferry supplies in from Egypt. Only four rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel overnight, the army said, a significant decline from the large number that hit Israeli cities the night before, setting off air raid sirens in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and elsewhere.
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