The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit informed TV7 that the retaliation was focused on destroying subterranean infrastructure and observation posts use by the Palestinian Islamists for terror-related activities.
Meanwhile residents of southern Israel continue to be terrorized by incendiary balloon-clusters sent from the Hamas-controlled Strip, which have caused dozens of blazes and sporadic explosions. Among the attacks, two Improvised Explosive Devices were located in residential areas in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council and the town of Sderot.
“In the southern part of Israel, Israeli police bomb disposal experts are continuing to respond to explosive devices that are attached to balloons and are flown in from the Gaza Strip and landing in open areas, including in community areas this morning,” said Police Spokesman Superintendent Mickey Rosenfeld. He added that, for the fourth consecutive week, security remains heightened “all across the south, both in cities, in communities, in public areas to respond to the possibility of explosive devices that could land.”
Following the recent spate of rocket attacks from the Palestinian enclave, Israeli Alternate Premier and Defense Minister Benny Gantz inspected an Iron Dome Aerial Defense battery deployment site, accompanied by the Commander of the Israeli Air Force Aerial Defense Division, Gen. Ran Kochav. While so far IDF retaliatory strikes have been seemingly limited to avoid a wider escalation, the top Israeli Defense official signaled to Hamas that its ongoing attacks will not be tolerated and that the rules of the game are about to change.
“The IDF is well prepared, protects and will continue to defend the citizens of the south,” declared the Israeli Defense Minister. Underscoring that “residents of Gaza suffer because of Hamas,” Gantz warned that the army “will target those who attack us and will strike them in a very devastating manner.”
In a statement release by Hamas, the internationally-recognized terror group accused Israel’s retaliatory aerial raids on its and “tightening” of the blockade on Gaza as “inhumane.” The Islamist leaders claimed that Israel is “responsible for the repercussions and consequences of this escalation,” and called “on human rights groups, the international community, and decision makers in the region to break their silence and put an end” to what they referred to as “Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.” Even though the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank abandoned all administrative ties to Gaza over a year ago, Hamas also issue an appeal for Ramallah to reinitiate support of besieged residents in the Strip.
It is important to explain evident distress by the Islamist Hamas, which is an off-shoot organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, comes at a time when its grip over the coastal enclave is weakening. Worsening matters, a 48-hour general lockdown was imposed last night in reaction to a surge of the coronavirus in the territory. According to Hamas Spokesman Salama Marouf, the “full curfew” includes the prohibition of all gatherings, suspension of work at all facilities, and “closure of the governmental and private sector, educational organizations, mosques, markets, wedding halls and sports clubs.”