Thursday at dawn, Israeli F-16 fighters fired several missiles at areas in Gaza city and in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported.

A local source in Gaza reported that one of the missiles was fired at the Islamic University in Gaza city. The missile exploded in the playground of the university. Damage was reported, though no one was injured .

Israeli soldiers also launched three air strikes at main roads in the town of Abasan, east of Khan Younis, and in the western area of Rafah. Both towns are in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

In Khan Younis, Israeli air force fired a missile at the house of Zaki Al Dardeesy, one of Hamas leaders in Khan Younis. No injuries were reported.

Soldiers shelled several shops Thursday at dawn in Khan Younis causing considerable damage, including buildings under construction catching fire.

Israeli soldiers installed a military camp at a deserted airport near Rafah and positioned dozens of tanks and armored vehicles for attack.

The Israeli air force dropped leaflets in the northern Gaza Strip warning residents that the army will invade the area soon and threatened a wide-scale military assault.

Israeli fighter jets also stepped up the offense, dropping sound bombs throughout the day in Gaza city.