Militants in the Gaza Strip unleashed dozens of rockets on southern Israel late today, setting off air raid sirens and forcing hundreds of thousands of Israelis to stay indoors as the military rushed more forces to the border and warned that even heavier fighting looked likely. The latest violence came as Israel pressed forward with its investigation of six Jewish youths suspected of abducting and killing a Palestinian teenager, and Israeli leaders sought to calm an emotional debate over whether the country's politically charged atmosphere led to the gruesome crime. An Israeli official said three of the youths had confessed to the attack.
Tensions have been high since three Israeli teenagers kidnapped June 12 in the West Bank were later found dead, followed by last week's slaying of the Palestinian youth in what many suspect was a revenge attack. Throughout the unrest, Gaza militants have launched more than 200 rockets and mortars into Israel, including close to 100 today alone. Israel has responded with dozens of airstrikes, but has not been able to halt the attacks. Eight Palestinian militants were killed in fighting today, the highest death toll yet. Israel has called up hundreds of reservists and may add 1,500 more, CNN reports. "Operation Protective Edge is underway," tweeted an Israeli Army spokesperson. Click for more. (Read more Israel and Palestinians stories.)