Israel says it is prepared to broaden Gaza attack

Published:

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's prime minister says the military is prepared to broaden its operation against Hamas targets in Gaza.

Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel cannot tolerate continued rocket attacks against its citizens. In his first comments since Israel killed the commander of the Hamas military wing, Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel is "prepared to expand the operation." The military said earlier the operation could escalate with a ground attack.

Palestinian militants have responded with rocket fire. The military says its "Iron Dome" defense system has intercepted 13 rockets from Gaza. Israeli media said the rockets were shot down over the city of Beersheba.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the operation in Gaza was far from over. He said airstrikes had already inflicted heavy damage, taking out most of Hamas' long-range missile capabilities.