The IAF carried out the largest wave of daytime strikes against terror targets in Gaza since Operation Protective Edge. Hamas had fired some 200 rockets at Israel’s south since Friday night.
By: United with Israel Staff
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) over the weekend carried out the largest wave of daytime strikes against Hamas terror targets in Gaza since Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014 in response to over 200 rockets fired by Gaza-based terrorists at Israel’s civilian population.
Since Friday night, Hamas terrorists fired over 200 rockets at Israeli civilians in Israel’s south, threatening the lives of tens of thousands of Israelis. The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted some 30 rockets.
Several Israelis were injured and damage was caused to buildings and property.
An Israeli family of four was wounded from shrapnel when a rocket launched by Hamas from Gaza slammed into their home in the city of Sderot on Saturday evening.
“We were all covered in blood,” the father recounted.
Another rocket landed near a synagogue in the city.
Responding to the bombardment, the IAF struck more than 40 terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including two terror tunnels, two large logistic centers and a Hamas Battalion headquarters in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza.
Before the strikes began, the IDF Arabic Spokesperson, Maj. Avichay Adraee, sent out warnings to the civilians in the Strip in Arabic, telling them to stay away from areas where they know that terror activity is taking place.
Israel has decided “on strong action against Hamas terrorism. The IDF has struck Hamas with the hardest blow since Operation Protective Edge, and we will increase the strength of our attacks as necessary,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Saturday.
In consultation with the Minister of Defense, the Chief-of-Staff and the top security command of the State of Israel, we have decided on strong action against Hamas terrorism. pic.twitter.com/dJOOYT8PPr
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 14, 2018
One of the terror targets hit was a high-rise building in the Al-Shati refugee camp. Situated near the Sheikh Zeid mosque, the large abandoned building once served as the Palestinian National Library but has since been used by Hamas to train operatives in urban warfare as well as tunnel survival carried out in a terror tunnel situated beneath the building.
Hamas Uses Civilian Infrastructure for Military Purposes
The tunnel itself is part of Hamas’ massive underground terror network in Gaza and further demonstrates that Hamas uses civilian infrastructure for military purposes, endangering its own civilians, the IDF said.
The building’s five floors were originally intended for public and government services and housing.
“A combination of terror along the security fence, arson terror and rockets are what eventually caused us to retaliate against Hamas,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, head of the International and Social Media Branch. “The purpose of the strikes was to stop the terror against Israeli civilians, stop the terror on the fence and stop the arson terror.”
Since March 2018, Israel has endured Hamas terror in the form of weekly violent riots, arson kites, incendiary balloons and, most recently, rockets.
The riots on the fence are becoming increasingly violent. An IDF officer was injured Friday when an explosive device was thrown at him. He was wounded in the chest and is currently recovering and in stable condition.
“This officer’s injury represents the increasingly violent nature of the riots along the security fence and Hamas’ true intentions behind the Great Return March,” the IDF stated.
Furthermore, “The IDF holds Hamas responsible for everything occurring in and emanating from the Gaza Strip. The IDF will continue to defend Israeli civilians and sovereignty against those who seek to harm either.”
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