Air raid sirens have wailed across the city of Jerusalem in an apparent rocket attack by Gaza militants.
Two faint booms could be heard from downtown Jerusalem shortly after the sirens went off late Tuesday. It was not clear whether it was a rocket strike, or whether an incoming projectile had been intercepted.
Jerusalem is about 50 miles, or 80 kilometers, north of Gaza.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
Meanwhile, Israel struck 150 targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and authorized the call-up of 40,000 reservists as it weighed a possible ground operation to quell weeks of Palestinian rocket fire into its territory.
Gaza emergency services chief Ashraf al-Qedra said 16 people, including five children, were killed on Tuesday as Israel’s offensive expanded. Militants raised the stakes late Tuesday by infiltrating Israel by sea and opening fire on troops near an army base. They also launched at least one rocket at Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial center, for the first time during the latest round of violence. Four infiltrators were killed and at least one rocket was intercepted over Tel Aviv, the army said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in televised comments that he ordered a “significant” expansion of Israel’s offensive in Gaza that “may take time.” A ground incursion is an option, according to an official who commented anonymously because he wasn’t authorized to comment on record.
The air and naval offensive is Israel’s biggest in Gaza since November 2012 and follows almost a month of rocket fire and air strikes. Violence escalated after the collapse of U.S.- sponsored peace talks in April and the killing of teenagers on both sides of the conflict.
“We won’t tolerate rocket fire on our cities and communities,” Netanyahu said in his televised comments. “We will do everything necessary so the quiet that prevailed here for years can continue.”
Hundreds of rockets were fired at Israel in the past four weeks, including about 160 on Tuesday, the military said.
Israel has already called up 1,500 reservists to boost the regular infantry and paratroop forces stationed along the Gaza border. The military said in a text message that an inner cabinet has approved the mobilization of 40,000 reserves troops.
Israel last sent ground forces into the territory in a 2009 operation in which more than 1,000 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died.
“Israel wants war,” said Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza.
“There are continuous air strikes on our people, an open war on innocent civilians, women and children,” Abu Zuhri said on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa television. “Israel wants to turn things around and hide the truth.”
Among the targets Israel hit today were command centers, rocket launchers, training bases, a car and at least four homes of Palestinian militants, according to led statement from the army. Al-Qedra reported hits on motorbikes, too.
Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said in a phone briefing that forces killed four Palestinians armed with grenades who infiltrated Israel from the sea and opened fire near an army base north of Gaza. It wasn’t clear whether others were at large, Lerner said. Hamas confirmed the attack.
The death toll in Gaza included 10 civilians and three militants whose car was hit in an air strike. The military said it killed a senior Hamas operative. Hamas’s military wing said in a text message that the commander of its naval forces was killed in a separate assault.
Senior Hamas political leaders haven’t been seen in public since the Israeli air strikes on the territory of 1.8 million people began in June.