Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Operation Protective Edge
Israel Launches Military Offensive against Gaza Militants
- Nidal al-Mughrabi and Allyn Fisher-Ilan
Israel launched an offensive against Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, bombing some 50 targets, including homes, in a campaign meant to end Palestinian rocket fire into the Jewish state. The Israeli military urged Israelis within a 40-km (24-mile) radius of the southern coastal territory to stay within reach of protected areas and ordered summer camps shut as a precaution against rocket fire.
Gaza militants had fired more than 80 rockets at Israel on Monday and military officials said more than 200 rockets had been shot at Israel in the past month, an enormous increase in shootings.
The IDF said it targeted about 50 sites in aerial and naval assaults. Palestinian officials said more than 30 of them were bombed before dawn, including two homes in southern Gaza, one of which was identified by a neighbor as belonging to a Hamas member. The Palestinian Interior Ministry said the family in the targeted home had received a telephone call from an Israeli intelligence officer asking them to leave the house because it would be bombed, and the family evacuated in time.
Gaza Campaign Will Not End within Days - Yaakov Lappin
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon completed a security evaluation meeting with the Home Front Commander, Maj.-Gen. Eyal Eizenberg. "We are prepared for a campaign against Hamas, which will not end within days. Hamas is leading the current confrontation to a place in which it seeks to exact a heavy price from our home front. There is a need for patience," Ya'alon said at the end of the meeting.
"In recent hours, we have struck with force and hit dozens of Hamas assets. The IDF is continuing with the offensive effort, in a manner that will exact a very heavy price from Hamas. We will not tolerate missile and rocket fire on Israel, and we are prepared to expand the campaign through all of the means available to us, to continue striking Hamas," he continued.
IDF Strikes Hamas Tunnel while Terrorists Preparing an Attack
The IDF targeted a Hamas tunnel early Monday morning, preventing an imminent terror threat to Israeli citizens. Hamas terrorists built the tunnel, which extends from Gaza into Israel, in order to execute complex attacks against civilians and IDF soldiers.
At the time of the strike, terrorists inside the tunnel were working with explosives, causing a massive blast that killed seven Hamas operatives. The terrorists likely planned to use the explosives to carry out an attack against Israel.