One week after the last escalation saw hundreds of Hamas rockets fired at Israel and the IDF strike dozens of Hamas targets in Gaza, a sniper under cover of Friday’s riot at the Israel-Gaza border unleashed another round of intense fighting by mortally wounding an Israeli soldier. The IDF website reported that the Israelis hit 60 Hamas sites in response to the fatal shooting, while Gaza terrorists fired three rockets at Israel.
By Saturday morning a ceasefire was in place, but by noon the same day Hamas had already violated the terms by infiltrating Israeli territory. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page posted that the terrorists returned to the Gaza Strip and Israeli tanks attacked a Hamas military post in response, which followed waves of military targets that were hit earlier on the weekend. Per another IDF Tweet, the Hamas targets struck in response to the sniper attack included weapon-manufacturing sites, a factory used for underground infrastructure manufacturing, and a warehouse for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson, “The IDF views today’s attack and the hostile activity orchestrated by Hamas throughout the last months with great severity. Hamas chose to escalate the security situation and will bear the consequences for its actions.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday made it clear that Israel would strike even harder if Hamas continues their acts of terror.
“We hit Hamas very hard over the weekend and—if it proves necessary—we will hit them seven-fold,” said Netanyahu in comments published by his office.
The damage done to some of Hamas’ military infrastructure was extensive according to the IDF Spokesperson. In the strikes, 25 military targets were hit in one Hamas battalion headquarters, noted a series of tweets. “The IDF eliminated the battalion’s command and control capabilities, the battalion commander’s office, as well as unique aerial defense capabilities,” said the IDF Spokesperson Twitter posts.
The IDF website said that the IDF soldier who was shot by the sniper on Friday—Aviv Levi, age 21-years-old—was hit in the chest and later died from his wounds. Netanyahu’s office on Saturday night published the premier’s condolences to Levi’s parents and siblings.
“Together with his comrades, Aviv fought with determination and heroism against terror from the Gaza Strip. To our sorrow, this struggle sometimes claims a price that is heavy for us to bear. Our hearts are with the family,” said Netanyahu.
While the fighting appeared to have quieted on Sunday, it wasn’t over. The IDF Spokesperson said on Twitter on Sunday that terrorists launching arson balloons at Israel were targeted by IDF aircraft.
The Israelis made it clear they would defend their people and their property from the continued Gaza terror attacks. “Since March 2018, Hamas has sent Gazan civilians to violently riot at the security fence, and the IDF has operated within the rules of engagement and done everything in its power to defend Israeli civilians and sovereignty,” said the IDF website article on the weekend escalation.
“The IDF will continue to fulfill its duty to the Israeli people and will not allow Hamas to murder Israeli soldiers, fire rockets towards Israeli cities, throw explosives, or burn Israel’s forests and farmland.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 22, 2018)