Israel launches scores of airstrikes into Gaza

Last Updated 10:06 a.m. ET

(CBS News) GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with nearly 200 airstrikes early Saturday, the military said, widening a blistering assault on Gaza rocket operations to include the prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels.

The Israeli military said its "Iron Dome" rocket-defense system shot down an incoming projectile bound for Tel Aviv.

Footage from Associated Press Television News shows a plume of smoke emanating from an Iron Dome battery deployed in Tel Aviv followed by a flash of light overhead as the rocket is intercepted. People huddled along Tel Aviv's beachfront boardwalk cheered Saturday as the interception took place.

Israel says its Iron Dome system has intercepted nearly 250 rockets since a round of fighting broke out on Wednesday.

An Israeli Iron Dome missile is launched near the city of Be'er Sheva, southern Israel, to intercept a rocket fired from Gaza Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.
AP Photo/Ahikam Seri

Correspondent Allen Pizzey reports that, despite vague talk of a cease-fire, Hamas managed to hit a southern Israeli city with four rockets, and retaliation continued unabated.

A massive explosion rocked the Gaza City soccer stadium this morning and speculation was that the target was a rocket launching site. The Israeli bombing campaign expanded into other areas and included the government infrastructure. The cabinet headquarters was flattened.

There were reports of civilians among the casualties. At least half of the Palestinians killed in the conflict so far have been civilians, including at least eight children and a pregnant woman.

The new attacks, which Gaza officials say left 10 dead, 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 and extended the battlefield.

President Obama spoke with Israeli leaders on Friday night reiterating Israel has a right to defend itself. He also spoke to Egyptian leaders who are trying to diffuse the conflict.

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Israeli troops and armor amass along the border with Gaza. Roads have been sealed off and Israeli cabinet has approved to call-up as many as 75,000 reservists setting the stage for a possible ground invasion.

Today the Israeli military deployed a battery of its so-called Iron Dome anti-missile system in Tel Aviv, Pizzey reports. Four are already operational in the south. The idea is they detect and intercept missiles in the air. Such is their success rate that three more have been rushed into production.

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