CIUDAD DE GAZA, Franja de Gaza (AP) — Israel lanzó el sábado unos 300 bombardeos contra la Franja de Gaza, en una ampliación de la ofensiva desde el aire, que incluyó ataques a complejos de seguridad, túneles supuestamente usados por traficantes, y un edificio de apartamentos.

La ofensiva siguió al lanzamiento de un cohete palestino hacia Jerusalén. El ataque sin precedente hacia la ciudad santa elevó aún más la tensión en el enfrentamiento entre Israel y los milicianos palestinos.

En la jornada, Israel derribó un cohete palestino disparado hacia Tel Aviv, indicó el ejército.

La intensificación de los ataques ocurre mientras los líderes de Hamas y dos importantes aliados, Catar y Turquía, se reúnen en El Cairo para buscar un cese al fuego. La Liga Arabe también llevaba a cabo un encuentro de emergencia.

La Casa Blanca informó que el presidente Barack Obama está en contacto con líderes egipcios y turcos. Hasta ahora Washington ha respaldado a Israel.

LEE LOS COMENTARIOS A ESTA NOTA Y AGREGA EL TUYO


Los ataques israelíes, que según las autoridades en Gaza dejaron 12 muertos el sábado, sucedieron mientras extremistas palestinos dispararon más de 100 cohetes hacia Israel, incluyendo dos dirigidos a la metrópolis de Tel Aviv, el centro comercial y cultural de la nación. Los ataques a esta urbe y a Jerusalén esta semana fueron los primeros lanzados por milicianos de Gaza que han alcanzado las ciudades.

Los hechos parecen plantear un mayor riesgo que el observado durante la guerra que ambos bandos libraron hace cuatro años. Hamas quedó severamente lesionado en ese conflicto, pero desde entonces ha abastecido su arsenal con más y mejores armas, y ha estado bajo presión de grupos extremistas para demostrar su compromiso de combatir a Israel.

En tanto, los milicianos palestinos lanzaron un cohete contra la metrópolis de Tel Aviv por tercer día consecutivo. Las sirenas de ataque aéreo volvieron a sonar en la ciudad, y los estallidos resonaron.

Los milicianos de Hamas dijeron en Gaza que habían lanzado un cohete Fajr 5 de fabricación iraní.

En un impulso sicológico para los israelíes, un sofisticado sistema de defensa conocido como "Domo de Acero" derribó algunos de los cohetes que se dirigían hacia Tel Aviv, causando vítores entre los aliviados habitantes.

La policía informó que un segundo misil tenía como blanco Tel Aviv. No estaba claro si impactó o si fue derribado.

Israel informó que el Domo de Acero ha repelido unos 250 cohetes provenientes en su mayoría del sur de Israel, cerca de Gaza.

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  • PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-GAZA-CONFLICT

    Birzeit University students takes cover behind the university's sign during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Atara checkpoint close to the university as they protest against Israel's military action on the Gaza Strip, on November 19, 2012. Israeli air strikes across the Gaza Strip killed 13 people, raising the Palestinian death toll to 90 as Israel's relentless air campaign entered its sixth day. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Israeli Troops Continue To Gather On Border As UN Call For Truce

    ISRAEL/GAZA BORDER - ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19: Israeli artillery shells attack a target in the Gaza Strip on November 19, 2012 on Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. According to reports November 19, 2012, at least 90 Palestinians have been killed and more than 700 wounded during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Israeli Troops Continue To Gather On Border As UN Call For Truce

    ISRAEL/GAZA BORDER - ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19: Israeli artillery shells attack a target in the Gaza Strip on November 19, 2012 on Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. According to reports November 19, 2012, at least 90 Palestinians have been killed and more than 700 wounded during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Palestinians hurry away from a damaged building after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Israel widened the range of targets in its Gaza offensive Sunday, striking more than a dozen homes of suspected Hamas militants and two media offices, according to security officials and witnesses. The attacks also damaged adjacent houses, killing seven civilians, including five children, health officials said. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Israeli Troops Continue To Gather On Border As Ceasefire Talks Are Sought

    ISRAEL/GAZA BORDER - ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 20: (ISRAEL OUT) Israeli soldiers prepare weapons and vehicles in a deployment area as the conflict between Palestine and Gaza enters its seventh day on November 20, 2012 on Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. Hamas militants and Israel are continuing talks aimed at a ceasefire as the death toll in Gaza reaches over 100 with three Israelis also having been killed by rockets fired by Palestinian militants. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

  • The sun rises as an Israeli soldier washes his teeth atop a tank that he slept on, at a staging area near the Israel Gaza Strip Border, southern Israel, early Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. On Tuesday, grieving Gazans were burying militants and civilians killed in ongoing Israeli airstrikes, and barrages of rockets from Gaza sent terrified Israelis scurrying to take cover. Efforts to end a week-old convulsion of Israeli-Palestinian violence drew in the world's top diplomats Tuesday, with U.S. President Barack Obama dispatching his secretary of state to the region on an emergency mission and the U.N. chief appealing from Cairo for an immediate cease-fire. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • Palestinian firefighters try to extinguish a fire on the National Islamic Bank, destroyed overnight in an Israeli strike, in Gaza City Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. Early Tuesday, Israeli aircraft targeted another Hamas symbol of power, battering the headquarters of the bank senior Hamas officials set up to sidestep international sanctions on the militant group's rule. (AP Photo/Ashraf Amra)

  • Smoke and fire are seen from an explosion by a high rise housing media organizations in Gaza City, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. It's the Israel's military second strike on the building in two days. The Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, is located on the top floor. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Smoke and fire are seen from an explosion by a high rise housing media organizations in Gaza City, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. It's the Israel's military second strike on the building in two days. The Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, is located on the top floor. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Israeli soldiers lie on the ground as an Iron Dome missile is launched near the city of Ashdod, Israel, Monday Nov 19. 2012. Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip and killed a senior militant with a missile strike on a media center Monday, driving up the Palestinian death toll to 96, as Israel broadened its targets in the 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel. (AP Photo/Moti Milrod) ISRAEL OUT

  • The dead body of a Palestinian woman from the Abdel Aal family is pulled out from the rubble after the family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighbourhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Majed Hamdan)

  • The dead body of a Palestinian woman from the Abdel Aal family is pulled out from the rubble after the family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighborhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Osama Abdel Aal is rescued after his family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighborhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • A member of the Abdel Aal family is rescued after his family house collapsed during an Israeli forces strike in the Tufah neighborhood, Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • A Palestinian woman walks past a building hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Explosion and smoke rise following an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with more than 180 airstrikes early Saturday, the military said. The new attacks followed an unprecedented rocket strike aimed at the contested holy city of Jerusalem that raised the stakes in Israel's violent confrontation with Palestinian militants. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Smoke rises after an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The Israeli military widened its range of targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday to include the media operations of the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers, sending its aircraft to attack two buildings used by both Hamas and foreign media outlets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • Smoke rises following an Israeli attack on smuggling tunnels on the border between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

  • PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA

    Palestinian firefighters and rescue personnel work at a blast site following an Israeli air raid in Gaza City on November 17, 2012. Israeli air strikes hit the cabinet headquarters of Gaza's Hamas government, the group said early on November 17, with eyewitnesses reporting extensive damage to the building. AFP PHOTO/MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People look at a wreckage of the car in which was killed Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • People look at a wreckage of the car in which was killed Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, a rocket is launched from the Israeli anti-missile system known as "Iron Dome" in order to intercept a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip in Ashdod, Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, file)

  • Ahmed Jabari

    Palestinian security forces wheel into a hospital the body of Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Ahmed Jabari

    Palestinian security forces wheel into a hospital the body of Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Israelis soldiers run to a rocket shelter as a siren sounds signaling an attack coming from the nearby Gaza Strip in Neva settlement, near the Israel-Egypt border, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

  • Palestinian men react at hospital after the body of Ahmed Jabari, head of the Hamas military wing, was brought, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

  • Israeli soldiers and civilians run to a rocket shelter as a siren sounds signaling an attack coming from the nearby Gaza Strip in Neva settlement, near the Israel-Egypt border, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

  • Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Palestinian witnesses say Israeli airstrikes have hit a series of targets across Gaza City, shortly after the assassination of the top Hamas commander. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

  • Columns of smoke rise following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

En total, 42 palestinos y tres israelíes han muerto desde que comenzó la ofensiva israelí el miércoles en respuesta a meses de disparos de cohetes hacia su territorio.

El general brigadier Tal Russo, comandante de Israel en el sur, informó que sábado que Hamas ha sufrido un duro golpe. "La mayoría de sus capacidades ha sido destruida", dijo a reporteros. Agregó que Israel está "absolutamente" listo para enviar tropas a Gaza.

La aviación israelí siguió castigando sus objetivos originales, los depósitos de armas de los insurgentes y baterías de cohetes subterráneas. Igualmente se cebaron con especial intensidad en las baterías de superficie de cohetes. El alto mando ha movilizado miles de reservistas y emplazó la tropa, tanques y otros vehículos blindados junto a la frontera con Gaza, indicio de que una invasión terrestre podría ser inminente.

Los insurgentes han lanzado unos 500 cohetes contra el estado judío, incluyendo otros nuevos, de largo alcance, que cayeron por primera vez esta semana en Jerusalén y Tel Aviv.

La violencia extendió la inestabilidad que atenaza el Medio Oriente. Al mismo tiempo, las revueltas populares contra sus gobernantes han creado nuevas posibilidades para Hamas. Los islamistas en el Medio Oriente han salido fortalecidos. Hamas había sido soslayada por la comunidad internacional por su negativa a reconocer a Israel y renunciar a la violencia.

En tanto, una delegación tunecina encabezada por el ministro de Relaciones Exteriores Rafik Abdessalem, visitó el sábado Gaza y acudió primero a las ruinas humeantes de un edificio de tres pisos que fue la sede del primer ministro Ismail Haniye.

"Israel debe comprender que existe un derecho internacional y debe respetar ese derecho internacional para cesar las agresiones contra el pueblo palestino", dijo Abdessalem a The Associated Press durante una visita al hospital Shifa.

El edificio de oficinas donde estaba el despacho de Haniye fue reducido a escombros por un ataque aéreo que también destruyó ventanas en casas aledañas. El gobernante no estaba dentro del inmueble al momento del ataque.

El jefe de seguridad del edificio dijo que Hamas tuvo aciertos pese a la superioridad militar de Israel.

"Hamas respondió a la agresión sionista y le pegó en lo profundo de su tierra", afirmó.

Los misiles derrumbaron dos pequeñas instalaciones de las fuerzas de seguridad y las amplias oficinas centrales de la policía de Hamas en Ciudad de Gaza, donde provocaron un colosal incendio que destruyó casas vecinas y vehículos de civiles en las afueras, informó el Ministerio del Interior. No había ocupantes en los inmuebles.

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Goldenberg contribuyó desde Jerusalén. Los redactores de Associated Press Karin Laub en Ciudad de Gaza, Matthew Daly en Washington, y Aya Batrawy en El Cairo contribuyeron a este artículo.

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