GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel stepped up its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the militant group’s control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the area’s only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far.
Flares turned the sky over Gaza City orange overnight and by daybreak, as the conflict entered its fourth week, heavy clouds of dust hovered over the territory. A thick column of black smoke rose from a burning fuel tank at the power plant.
The pounding came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned of a “prolonged” campaign against Hamas. It was not clear if this meant Israel has decided to go beyond the initial objectives of decimating Hamas’ ability to fire rockets and demolishing the group’s military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border.