Netanyahu "prepared" to step up Gaza offensive Another explosion rocks the Gaza Strip. The latest blast is part of a five-day offensive by Israel that has battered the enclave and killed more than 51 people - about half of them civilians. That's according to Palestinian officials. Now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to step up the attacks, aimed at the militant group Hamas - which runs Gaza. (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "We are exacting a heavy price from Hamas and the terrorist organisations and the Israel Defence Forces are prepared for a significant expansion of the operation." While air strikes continue, Israel's Cabinet has authorized the mobilization of up to 75000 reservists in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Officials say the offensive is in response to attacks by Hamas militants, who have fired more than 500 rockets into Israel, killing three people.