On Friday, during the weekly violent border riots, Gaza terrorists threw a grenade at an Israeli soldier, wounding him moderately, the IDF website reported. That would be a prelude to a sharp escalation in violence—including more than 200 rockets fired at Israel by Hamas per to the IDF Spokesperson Twitter page—that left Israel and Gaza on the brink of another war. The last conflict was clearly in mind, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that “the IDF dealt Hamas the harshest blow since Operation Protective Edge,” referring to the 2014 escalation.
Updating his cabinet on the weekend’s conflict, Netanyahu said in comments released by his office on Sunday, “We hit Hamas in a significant way and hard. Our policy is clear: Whoever hurts us, we will hit them with great strength. This is what we did yesterday… I hope that they got the message; if not, they will get it later.”
Prior to Netanyahu’s comments, a mediated ceasefire had already been reported, according to The Times of Israel. That seemed to pull the sides back from the brink of what could have been an all-out war. A Tweet from the IDF Spokesperson on Saturday had said that IDF commanders “assessed the readiness of IDF troops to undertake and enhance operational activity if deemed necessary.”
However, Netanyahu made it clear that any cessation of fighting would not allow Gaza arson terrorists to continue to launch fire kites and balloons at Israel with no response. “I heard it being said that Israel has agreed to a ceasefire that would allow the continuation of terrorism by incendiary kites and balloons; this is incorrect,” said the Israeli premier. “We are not prepared to accept any attacks against us and we will respond appropriately.”
On Sunday, Israel responded to more arson attempts with force. Israeli aircraft targeted multiple squads engaged in launching arson balloons, according to Tweets from the IDF Spokesperson.
And despite the earlier-reached ceasefire, Israel wasn’t taking chances. On Sunday, the IDF Spokesperson tweeted that the IDF had “reinforced” the Iron Dome missile defense batteries in the Gush Dan region that includes Tel Aviv, as well as the south of Israel.
That follows a brutal stretch for Israeli civilians. A graphic posted to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter Feed showed that during the uptick in violence four Israeli civilians were injured and the Iron Dome intercepted 30 Gaza projectiles.
Another tweet included a video by IDF Major Keren Hajioff discussing a synagogue that was struck by a Hamas rocket on the Sabbath.
The Israelis, meanwhile, hit over 40 Hamas targets—including a five-story building used for Hamas military training—according to an IDF website post. The IDF Spokesperson tweeted that the building was struck “after IDF troops warned residents of the building in advance.” Given the number of targets hit and the tendency of Gaza terrorists to exaggerate casualties, the numbers appeared especially low based on reports from the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.
And despite the civilian area in which the bombed building was located, IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus posted a video to Twitter showing Hamas terrorists using the high-rise building struck by the IDF for training on how to kidnap IDF soldiers.
Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Ofir Gendelman also posted to Twitter a video of Hamas training at the building, himself tweeting, “Hamas claims that this building, originally built as a public library and targeted yesterday by the IAF, wasn’t used by its terrorists, but this video shows the truth: Hamas has used it as a training facility for close quarters combat & intentionally built a kindergarten nearby!”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 15, 2018)