– SPECIAL SECURITY REPORT –
IDF jets & tanks go into a wider operational response after Palestinian terrorists open fire on IDF troops adjacent to Israel’s border with Gaza, by attacking terror targets across the entire Gaza Strip.
– This is still an ongoing operation.
By Yoav Zitun, Matan Tzuri
The IDF attacked several terror targets across the Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon with both tank and aircraft fire in retaliation for Palestinian sniper fire at troops in the Kissufim area.
Ten Hamas fighters were reportedly killed in the IDF retaliatory action.
Explosions were reported in the northern strip after the IDF attacked at least three Hamas positions, one of them east of Gaza City.
“In the wake of fire at an IDF force during the violent riots in southern Gaza, IDF aircrafts and tanks attacked several terror targets in the strip,” the IDF said.
Hamas said that “The mass participation in the “March of Return” campaign and the lifting of the Gaza siege alongside the steadfast persistence of the Palestinian public despite the attack, the terror and the occupation’s escalation is the proof that the Palestinian people adheres to implement its rights and lifting the siege, no matter what the toll of victims may be.”
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived to the area shortly before the incident.
An IDF official said the recent fire exchange is the gravest incident since the 2014 Operation Protective Edge for which Hamas is responsible.
The IDF instructed Gaza border communities’ residents to remain near bomb shelters amid the escalation as well as to avoid mass gatherings.
According to Channel 2, the IDF attacked eight Hamas terror targets. At least 10 Palestinians were killed and some 120 were wounded.
Explosive device was reportedly thrown at IDF force near Karni crossing.
The political and security brass headed by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot is holding a special evaluation assessment in the Kirya Headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Friday morning that the Hamas terror group is leaving Israel with no choice but to launch a “wide scale and painful military campaign,” as incendiary kites and balloons continue to fall from Gaza on Israeli border communities.
“We are making efforts to weigh matters and be responsible, but the heads of Hamas are forcefully leading us to a situation in which we have no choice, to a situation in which we will have to embark on a wide scale and painful military operation that is not intended for show—a wide scale and painful military operation,” he emphatically repeated.
Lieberman’s comments come against a backdrop of American efforts to kick-start international aid initiatives to alleviate the economic paralysis gripping the Gaza Strip on condition that Hamas renounce terror.
“We really are conducting ourselves responsibly and with restraint, even though the real problem with that is the erosion of deterrence, a change in the equation and, of course, the feeling of security which is no less important than security itself and having to come to terms with a reality in which at the end of last week the residents in the Gaza region were forced to run 20 times to bomb shelters,” Lieberman explained.
He also decried the reality of southern residents “preparing their safe rooms as an integral part of their Shabbat. We cannot accept this kind of situation.”
Last week an IDF major was moderately wounded from a grenade thrown at him by Palestinian rioters on the Gaza border on Friday, while a Palestinian teen was killed by IDF fire east of Gaza City.
The officer, who was a commander in the force that came under attack, was hit with shrapnel in his upper body and was airlifted to the Soroka Medical Center in stable condition.
In response, the force opened fire towards the terrorists who threw the grenade in northern Gaza—in the area between Gaza City’s Saja’iyya neighborhood and the old Karni crossing near Kibbutz Nahal Oz—and a hit was identified. The IDF is investigating the incident.
This is the gravest incident on the Israel side since the beginning of the border protests in late March. In recent weeks, several soldiers have been lightly and moderately wounded, but mostly from ricochets and explosives thrown at the fence.
View original Ynet publication at: