Security officials: Israel is prepared for a major ground operation in Gaza
Israel is prepared for a major ground operation in Gaza if Hamas continues to escalate tensions along the border, security officials said following a high level security assessment.
Overnight, terror groups in Gaza fired over 45 rockets into various towns in southern Israel. 7 were intercepted by Israeli defenses. Israeli jets attacked 28 Hamas terror infrastructures in five areas, in three waves.
One mortar round fell meters away from a kindergarten.
The attacks started in response to yesterday’s kite-terrorism attacks.
? 16 fires broke out today in Sdot Negev and Eshkol Regional Council areas in southern Israel, due to kites armed with firebombs launched by Muslim terrorists in Gaza. Their goal? Torching Israeli fields, destroying wildlife, people's food and livelihoods. pic.twitter.com/mTU1xiSFVf
— Behind The News (@Behind__News) June 19, 2018
A total of 45 rockets were fired, directly by Hamas into Israeli towns, as part of the terror group’s new response policy to Israeli strikes. This policy has not been used by the terror group since Israel employed its policy of targeted assassinations of terrorists.
The Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing of Hamas terror group, whose sole mission is to murder Israelis, is now openly operating under the assumption that Israel is deterred from another round of fighting, and for the first time believes it can fire on Israeli towns with large barrages without a significant escalation.
The Islamic Jihad also issued a statement claiming that Israel can no longer act as it wishes in Gaza, noting yesterday’s rocket attacks.
For its part, Israel continues to only attack Hamas sites that are of low risk for casualties (even among terrorists), in order to prevent an escalation and allow time for the remaining attack tunnels to be identified.
Hamas believes that only if it fires on major Israeli cities, that the Israeli response will escalate. It may do so if it concludes that international and regional pressure on Israel to ease restrictions and the blockade will fail.
Earlier today an Israeli drone fired a missile, which exploded near a group Muslim terrorists who were launching arson balloons east of Deir al Balah in southern Gaza. It is the seventh such warning strike in as many days and did not result in casualties.