Middle East

Israel-Gaza violence in maps

Note: Locations of areas hit are based on BBC News reports to 20 Nov

The Israeli military and Palestinian militants in Gaza are trading fire with air strikes and rocket attacks amid the latest eruption of violence.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate ceasefire.

Israel's offensive began with the killing of Ahmed Jabari, the leader of Hamas's military wing, on 14 November. His assassination followed months of cross-border violence and mounting tensions.

Negotiations to find a peaceful settlement in the region broke down in 2010. Indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ended in January without progress. There have been no direct talks between Israel and Hamas.

Israel is mobilising up to 75,000 army reservists - but Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has said an Israeli ground invasion would have "serious repercussions".

Rising death toll

As of midday on Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that militants in Gaza had fired more than 1,400 rockets towards Israel. More than 307 have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system (see below).

Israel had launched over 1,500 strikes on the Gaza strip, the IDF added.

Rockets from Gaza have landed as far north in Israel as Tel Aviv, the first time in decades that the city - a major population centre - has come under rocket fire. Rockets have also been fired towards Jerusalem.

It is the first time militants in Gaza have deployed the medium-range Iranian-built Fajr-5 missiles.

Map showing potential range of rocket attacks from Gaza

Israel has a new missile defence system, called the Iron Dome. Batteries have been deployed in five locations and according to the Israeli army has been very successful at intercepting rockets.

The system uses radar to track incoming rockets and then fires two interceptor missiles to knock them out.

How the Iron Dome works

Iron Dome graphic

Each interceptor missile costs about $60,000.

The shield's makers say the radar technology can differentiate between missiles likely to hit built-up areas and those likely to miss their target. Only those heading for cities are targeted and shot down.