Trouble loomed on another front after three rockets launched from Lebanon crashed into the Mediterranean off Israel’s northern coast late on Wednesday, raising the spectre of a second battleground with Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah militants.
It was not immediately clear if Friday’s barrage was the prelude to a ground invasion against Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza.
An Israeli military spokesman initially said “there are ground troops attacking in Gaza”, but later clarified that Israeli troops had not entered the enclave.
“I said that we will exact a very heavy price from Hamas,” Mr Netanyahu said on Facebook. “We are doing so and will continue to do so with great force. The last word hasn’t been said and this campaign will continue as long as necessary.”