For the first time, Israel fired artillery into Gaza to strike rocket storage areas, while Israeli navy gunboats shelled targets along the coast.
Twenty-six Palestinians died Tuesday in Israeli raids. Five Israelis have died in the fighting, including a soldier and a civilian contractor killed Tuesday.
Israeli warplanes also dropped leaflets over Gaza, urging residents to seek shelter in Gaza City. The leaflets said the Israeli army “is not targeting any of you and does not want to harm you or your families.”
Meanwhile, thousands of Israeli soldiers remain deployed on the border with Gaza, awaiting orders to invade the Palestinian territory or stand down.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.