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Netanyahu says Israel stepping up Gaza strikes

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In a video statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said, "At the conclusion of a situational assessment, it was decided that both the might of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks will be increased."

Militants in Gaza launched rocket barrages into Israel for a second day on Tuesday and Israeli planes fired missiles in the Palestinian territory, where the health ministry said the death toll rose to at least 26, including nine children.

A head of the Magen David Ambulance service said rockets fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip killed two women in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Tuesday, the first fatalities in Israel in cross-border hostilities.

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