OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Wednesday to ramp up an Israeli campaign against Gaza militants that has so far cost 43 Palestinian lives.
"We have decided to further intensify the attacks on Hamas and the terror organizations in Gaza," his office quoted him as saying after consulting defense chiefs in southern Israel.
"The army is prepared for any eventuality," he added.
"Hamas will pay a heavy price for the firing of rockets at Israeli civilians. Security for the citizens of Israel is first and foremost."
Wednesday was the second day of Israel's Operation Protective Edge.
Israel warplanes have so far hit 550 targets in Gaza, and Hamas militants have hit back with 165 rockets, some of which struck Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and as far away as Hadera, 116 kilometers to the north of the coastal enclave.
Palestinian fatalities include militants but also women and children. More than 370 people have been wounded.