Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned of a long war in Gaza, dashing hopes of a swift end to the three-week conflict, as Palestinian fighters staged a cross-border raid, Reuters reported.
The Israeli army said five of its soldiers died in two separate incidents, including four in a mortar strike, the report said.
In northern Gaza, eight children and two adults were killed by a blast in a park at the Beach refugee camp, according to the wire agency. Residents blamed the explosion on an airstrike, but Israel said a misfiring militant rocket caused the carnage.
“It has been a difficult, painful day,” the report quoted Netanyahu as saying in a televised address to the nation.
“We need to be prepared for a protracted campaign. We will continue to act with force and discretion until our mission is accomplished,” he said, adding that Israeli troops would not leave Gaza until they have destroyed Hamas’ tunnel network.
Some 1,060 Gazans, most of them civilians, have died in the conflagration. Israel has lost 48 soldiers and another three civilians have been killed by Palestinian shelling.
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