Israel Moves Troops Toward Gaza

JERUSALEM (November 15, 2012)--More than 200 rockets were fired into Israel Thursday by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, killing three people.

Three rockets targeted the heavily populated Tel Aviv area, setting off air raid sirens. Israeli TV showed panicked residents running for cover.

The attacks threaten to trigger an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.

Israel forces have been moving toward the border area.

Four years of an informal truce have unraveled in recent weeks, after a bout of rocket attacks from Gaza and retaliatory air strikes from Israel.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that he had authorized the army to draft reserve forces for possible activity in Gaza.

The army said as many as 30,000 troops could be drafted.

The Obama administration was struggling to deal with the flare-up.

It is unable to call on old ally Hosni Mubarak to convince Gaza's militant groups to stop firing rockets on the Jewish state and instead has to rely on Egypt's untested Islamist President Mohammed Morsi who, like the Gaza Strip's rulers, Hamas, is a product of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The challenge illustrates America's weakened influence as popular Islamist political movements have replaced pro-U.S., secular strongmen throughout the region over the last two years.

The profound shift is having its greatest effect in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous and influential country, and previously America's strong regional ally.

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