Things are starting to fire up a bit more than usual once again. If for no other reason than recent criticisms of its manners, Israel is almost guaranteed to begin striking out like a cornered mad dog.
The British Foreign Office expressed its concern over the IDF's attacks on the Gaza Strip and the escalation of violence in the region, according to British TV news channel, Sky News. In addition, Britain called upon actors in the region to act with restraint
"We are concerned by today's strikes and the escalation of violence in Gaza and southern Israel over the past week. We call on all parties to show restraint," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said."We encourage Israelis and Palestinians to focus efforts on negotiation and to engage urgently in US-backed proximity talks."
Israel threatened Friday to launch a wide scale military operation against the Gaza Strip after the overnight raids, unless rocket fire from the enclave stopped.
Earlier Friday, a Qassam rocket was launched at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip and landed in an open area in the Ashkelon region.
A Color Red siren was sounded throughout Ashkelon and the surrounding area around 11:45 am. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
Palestinians reported of numerous explosions at a number of locations. The IDF said exact hits of terror targets were identified. According to witnesses, one of the targets was a group of armed lookouts near Beit Lahiya, located in the northern part of Gaza. No one was injured in the strike.
Another strike, witnesses said, targeted a factory in Gaza City's Sabra neighborhood. Reuters reported that two children were injured from shrapnel and that serious damage was caused.
In addition, a number of missiles were fired towards open areas in the Khan Younis area, the Palestinians reported. Israeli warplanes also targeted a metal workshop in central Gaza.
According to the Palestinians, at least one missile was fired at a Hamas naval police outpost in Rafah.
Meanwhile, Hamas is trying to lower the flames, and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in response to this Israeli strike: "My government is in talks with the Palestinian organizations to maintain a united stance with regards to the struggle against Israel."
He went on to urge the international community to "intervene to put an end to the Israeli escalation.