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Hamas Rains Down Rockets As Israel Launches Offensive

Army declares operation ‘Protective Edge’ after barrage of at least 40 rockets hits deep inside Israel; Hamas threatens to target Tel Aviv; Obama calls for restraint

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Israel launched a major operation against Gaza in the early hours of Tuesday morning, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, following heavy Hamas rocket fire over the preceding days. The fast-escalating situation in the south comes in the shadow of spiking Jewish-Arab tensions in Israel over the brutal killings of four teenagers — three Jews and one Arab — by extremists. Stay with The Times of Israel’s liveblog for updates throughout the day.