Violence intensifies Saturday in Middle East

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The violence in the Middle East is intensifying Saturday.

Israelis and Palestinians continue to trade fire over the Gaza border and more and more people are dying.

ABC's Daria Albinger reports that a decision about a ground invasion could come at any time.

On this fourth day of fighting, Israel launched hundreds of rockets into Gaza--pounding  strategic landmarks and centers of power--including the Prime minister's headquarters, the interior ministry building and a vast network of underground tunnels used for smuggling weapons and contraband from Egypt.

Militants there, undaunted, unleashed some 600 rockets against the Jewish state -- especially in the south -- where the damage is extensive. Attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem this week mark the first time Hamas has been able to fire rockets toward those cities.

Israel's Iron Dome defense system proved particularly effective intercepting a significant proportion of incoming rockets.

At least three Israelis and more than forty Palestinians have been killed, many of them civilians.

In Gaza City, residents live in fear of Israeli airstrikes.

The wounded arrive at Gaza’s biggest hospital, its ICU filled with what doctors say are simply civilians.

Across the border, as many as 75,000 reservists called up, columns of military vehicles and troops now amassing there, ahead of a possible ground operation.

The White House says it believes that Israel "has the right to defend itself against attacks and that the Israelis will make their own decisions regarding ‘military tactics and operations.’" 

The president spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of Egypt and Turkey.