The above video shows a compilation of strikes that came prior to the announcement an hour ago that Israeli ground forces had moved into Gaza.
“I said that we would charge a very heavy price from Hamas and the rest of the terrorist organizations,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement released shortly after the offensive began. “We are doing this and we will continue to do so with great force. The last word was not said and this operation will continue as long as it takes to restore peace and security to the State of Israel.”
Israel had called up 7,000 military reservists and cancelled all leave for soldiers in combat units only hours before, raising fears of an impending escalation.
The incursion occurred as the US and others called for a diplomatic solution to the violence that erupted on Monday, sparked by a confrontation between Arab worshipers and Israeli police at the Aqsa mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites.
In an update after the initial announcement of the ground attack, Israel clarified that at this time it was only artillery strikes, and Israeli troops are not inside the Gaza Strip.
“Clarification: there are currently no IDF ground troops inside the Gaza Strip. IDF air and ground forces are carrying out strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip,” the statement said.
This story is continuing to develop and updates will be posted as they become available.