An update this morning on the situation: Hamas launched a rocket into Jerusalem on Friday, the first time the current conflict with Israel has expanded outside of Gaza. Israeli media said the rocket landed outside the city and there were no causalities. A ceasefire Friday between Israel and Hamas collapsed after just three hours when Palestinians continued launching rockets over the border, and Israel resumed airstrikes in retaliation. The ceasefire had been planned for Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s visit to Gaza. The Israeli military also announced Friday morning that it was calling up 16,000 reservists for a potential ground operation. More on this from the Washington Post.
Israel is continuing to pound the Gaza Strip with air strikes amidst fears that Israel could soon launch a ground invasion into Gaza. Israeli troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers are now massing near the Palestinian territory. Earlier today, 85 missiles exploded within 45 minutes in Gaza City, sending black pillars of smoke. At least 21 Palestinians have died in the most recent round of violence, while three Israelis died on Thursday. Israel said it launched 150 air strikes overnight, while Palestinians fired a dozen rockets into Israel. Israel has started to draft 30,000 reserve troops in a sign the assault may soon widen. Among the casualties of Israeli violence was the 11-month-old son of a BBC Arabic journalist, Jihad Misharawi. Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil traveled to Gaza today to condemn the Israeli attack. For more, Democracy Now! gets a report from Rafah by Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer, who says, "One thing that we ought to talk about here is the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. This is a situation of targeting a population of civilians, exactly like Israel is shooting in a fishbowl. And there is no shelter, and there is nowhere to run for the general population. Gaza is living in a very dire situation." Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! also speaks with Gershon Baskin, the founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, who was the initiator of the secret talks between Israel and Hamas for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
A rush transcript follows below the fold.