The threat of an Israeli ground offensive into Gaza came and went on Sunday, but Israel’s airstrikes and artillery fire continued as the Palestinian death toll reached 172, with 1,230 wounded.
Israeli forces had warned residents of northern Gaza on Sunday to evacuate their homes, raising the prospect of an assault from land, air, and sea; however, Israeli media said that a meeting of Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet ended Sunday night without giving the order for ground operations.
On the seventh day of air attacks, Israel struck 42 targets on Monday morning, including three training facilities of Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades. Aircraft also hit buildings in Gaza City, Deir el-Balah in the southern part of the strip, and in the northern town of Jabaliya, injuring an unspecified number of people.
Shelling was reported in Beit Lahiya, in the far north of Gaza.
Following the warning, about 17,000 people took shelter in installations of the United Nations refugee agency UNRWA.
The Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said more than 130 of the dead are civilians, including 35 children and 26 women.
No Israelis have been killed by more than 700 rockets fired from Gaza since last Monday, although several have been wounded, one critically.
Four rockets were also fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel early Monday. The Israeli army responded with artillery fire. No casualties were reported.
(Featured Photo: Men gather outside damaged home of Gaza’s police chief — 18 people were killed in a nearby mosque in Gaza City)