Israel's cabinet on Sunday approved the call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers for a possible ground invasion of the Gaza Strip to follow up a massive weekend aerial assault on the Hamas infrastructure there.
Even as a fleet of at least 60 Israeli jets pounded Hamas targets across Gaza on Saturday, Israeli tanks began to mass on the border of the volatile coastal strip.
Fearful that the Israeli offensive could end its rule in Gaza, Hamas upped its attacks on southern Israel, firing at least 150 rockets at Israeli towns on Saturday and Sunday.
Two of the rockets slammed into the port city of Ashdod some 22 miles from Gaza, marking the deepest strike inside Israel by Palestinian rocket crews.
Israeli security officials reiterated that Hamas and its allied terror groups now possess rockets with a range of up to 25 miles, putting some 800,000 Israeli civilians in the line of fire.