The IDF is continuing to broaden its ground operation in the Gaza Strip. The primary objective is to seek and destroy tunnels used by Hamas terrorists.
Ground forces, armor, artillery and Special Forces are participating in the mission to destroy the massive terror infrastructure in Gaza. Reports indicate that the forces are meeting formidable opposition by Hamas, which has invested years in digging these terror tunnels. The operation is executed slowly and with surgical precision as Hamas has booby-trapped the tunnels, forcing the troops to work slowly and at times in open areas in Gaza, leaving them exposed to sniper and anti-tank fire.
More than 70 terrorists have been killed in battles with the IDF. In an incident on Saturday, a terrorist burst out of a tunnel and attacked a paratrooper unit; he was killed in the gun fight. Hamas has further resorted to suicide attacks, using animals as well to carry the deadly weapons. Twenty-one terrorists were arrested and taken for further questioning.
More than 40 tunnel shafts have been discovered; five of the tunnels reach all the way into Israel. Over the past 24 hours, the IDF has attacked some 450 terror targets from the air, sea and land, including 10 hidden rocket launchers. Since the beginning of the operation the IDF has attacked some 2,570 targets
Early Friday morning, First Sgt. Eitan Barak, 20, was killed during the entry into Gaza. On Saturday, Sgt. Adar Barsano, 20, and Maj. (res.) Amotz Greenberg, 45, were killed by Hamas terrorists who infiltrated into Israel through a tunnel from Gaza and attempted to carry out a massacre in an Israeli community near the border. The IDF thwarted the attack. One of the infiltrators was killed; the others escaped to Gaza. Two IDF soldiers were wounded in the attack. The terror cell was wearing IDF uniforms and carrying with them sedatives and binding equipment, evidence of their ongoing efforts to abduct Israeli civilians.
Rockets Continue to Fall on Israeli Cities
Early Sunday morning Second Lieutenant Bar Rahav of the Combat Engineers, 21, was killed by an anti-tank missile that hit the vehicle he was riding. Sergeant Benaya Rubel, a paratrooper, 20, was killed in clashes in the Gaza Strip. An IDF officer was seriously injured in this incident.
Rockets continue to rain down on civilian targets in Israel, including Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv. An Israeli Bedouin was killed over the weekend by a rocket and four members of his family were wounded, including a three-month-old baby who is in critical condition. The Israeli military said Hamas terrorists have fired at least 1,705 rockets out of an estimated stockpile of approximately 10,000.
Author: Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency