Four Israeli civilians had been killed as of Sunday afternoon and dozens more wounded as terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched hundreds of rockets at Israel over the weekend, including more than 600 rockets in 36 hours according to an IDF Twitter post. Included among the Israeli dead was one civilian murdered when terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at his civilian car. Israeli Prime Minister’s Officer spokesman Ofir Gendelman said of the attack on Twitter, that
this “is what Palestinian terrorists do: murdering innocent civilians.”
The Times of Israeli reported that the other three civilians were killed as a result of the rocket attacks, while the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted to Twitter that more than 90 injuries had been caused by the attacks as of Sunday afternoon.
In response, the Israeli military struck Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) targets in Gaza—including the assassination of a terrorist who transferred funds from Iran to the terror groups. An IDF Twitter post said that 280 terror targets had been “destroyed” in Gaza as of Sunday afternoon, and furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implied a ground operation in the Strip could be on the table by referencing troop buildup.
“This morning, I instructed the IDF to continue massive attacks against terrorist elements in the Gaza Strip,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “I also ordered the reinforcement of the units around the Gaza Strip with armor, artillery and infantry.
“Hamas bears the responsibility not only for its own attacks and actions but also for the actions of Islamic Jihad, and it is paying a very heavy price for this.”
The Israeli response, according to the IDF English Twitter page, included the targeted strike of Hamed Ahmed Khudari, which the twitter post called “a Gazan terrorist responsible for transferring Iranian funds to Hamas & PIJ in Gaza, helping fund their rocket fire at Israelis.” Continued the IDF in the post, “Transferring Iranian money to Hamas & the PIJ doesn’t make you a businessman. It makes you a terrorist.”
The IDF Twitter feed also noted the Israelis had struck at terrorist rocket launchers, terror attack tunnels, weapons manufacturing factories and an Islamic Jihad training compound and command center the Twitter post noted was located “INSIDE a mosque.”
The Israeli Security Cabinet met on Sunday and said in a press statement that “the Cabinet has instructed the IDF to continue the strikes and to prepare for continuation. The supreme consideration is the security of the state and its residents.”
During the fighting, the IDF further revealed on Twitter they had “thwarted an attempted Hamas cyber offensive against Israeli targets,” and they didn’t stop their cyberdefense in the computer world. In response, the IDF Twitter feed reported they “targeted a building where the Hamas cyber operatives work.”
In Israel, 58-year-old Israeli civilian Moshe Agadi was the first killed as a result of the terrorist rocket fire. Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld noted on Twitter that the rocket strike that mortally wounded Agadi damaged multiple houses.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin expressed his condolences to the Agadi family on Sunday morning, with a press release quoting him as saying, “We send you a big hug in your profound grief. I am praying for those injured and thinking of those sheltering from rockets in their safe spaces.
“We will continue to stand against this dreadful terror and will respond forcefully and unwaveringly to any attack on the security of our people.”
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs summarized on Twitter some of the war crimes committed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in just two days, including not only killing civilians but “Firing rockets on a hospital” and “Blowing up kindergartens & schools.”
Furthermore, Palestinian terrorists have even killed their own people. The IDF Twitter feed reported that contrary to what was reported in the media, a Gaza woman and baby were not killed by Israeli fire on Saturday. “Palestinian weapons caused the tragic death of a mother in Gaza and her baby. Hamas blamed Israel. Journalists amplified the lie. Our assessment indicates that the incident had nothing to do with IDF strikes,” said the tweet.
The Israeli Prime Minister official Twitter feed said that Netanyahu had met with a delegation of United States ambassadors to Europe and used that as an opportunity to inform them of the Gaza conflict and note “that Israel had the right to defend itself, adding that we would take all necessary measures to ensure this.”
The US on Saturday had already issued a strong condemnation of the Gaza rocket fire and expressed their support for Israel.
“The United States strongly condemns the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel,” said the press statement from State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. “We call on those responsible for the violence to cease this aggression immediately. We stand with Israel and fully support its right to self-defense against these abhorrent attacks.”
The massive upsurge in rocket attacks occurred after a sniper shot and wounded two Israeli soldiers, which the IDF noted on Twitter was done under the cover of civilians in a Hamas riot on the Israel-Gaza border. The IDF later tweeted that Islamic Jihad was responsible for the sniper fire.
The intense fighting also preceded the start of the Muslim religious month of Ramadan, which began Sunday night in the Middle East, when tensions sometimes run higher than normal.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 5, 2019)