Hamas missiles target nuclear facility as likelihood of Israel invasion of Gaza increases

Hamas militants launched a salvo of missiles at Israel’s main nuclear facility Wednesday night, raising the likelihood of an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Three rockets were aimed towards the southern Israeli town of Dimona and the nearby Negev nuclear reactor and research centre, where Israel’s atomic weapons program is thought to be based.

Two of the rockets fell in open areas and the other was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defensive shield, with none causing casualties, an Israeli army spokesman said.

However, the symbolic aggression of the act may raise expectations that Israel will press ahead with threats to launch a full-scale ground operation to dismantle Hamas’s military infrastructure.

The threat to the nuclear facility came as Gaza saw its bloodiest day of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, with at least 22 people, reportedly including nine children and six women, killed in air strikes.

But the strikes failed to staunch the rocket fire from Hamas, which unleashed its full arsenal of long-range missiles as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The exchanges were matched by bellicose political language on either side.

As tanks continued to mass on the Gaza border, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said there would no let up in the military operation until Hamas stopped its rockets.

“The operation will expand and continue until the rocket firing on our cities stops, and the quiet returns,” he said. “Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing on Israeli citizens.”

Full article: Hamas missiles target nuclear facility as likelihood of Israel invasion of Gaza increases (National Post)

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