Palestinian sources say Israeli airstrikes on
Hamas compounds in the Gaza Strip have killed more than 200 people.
Israel's air force fired at least 30 missiles into Gaza, destroying
several Hamas security compounds in a brief but deadly assault.
of smoke rose over Gaza, and there was panic and confusion in the streets.
Television images showed more than a dozen bodies of uniformed security men
lying on the ground at one installation. One of the targets was a ceremony for
Palestinian military recruits. The Gaza police chief was among the dead.
The air strikes were retaliation for dozens of Palestinian rocket and
mortar attacks since a six-month cease-fire collapsed a week ago.
moderate Palestinian government in the West Bank condemned the Israeli air
"We call for an immediate halt and ending of this aggression
against the Gaza Strip," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a spokesman for Western-backed
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Hamas is promising revenge, saying Israel would pay a
heavy price in the form of rocket attacks and suicide bombings. One Israeli was
killed in a rocket attack shortly after the air raid.
Israel says if
Hamas chooses an escalation, the army will expand the offensive and could target
the Hamas leadership.
Arab foreign ministers will meet in Cairo on
Sunday or Monday to discuss a response to the Israel attacks.