!00,000 Gazans told to evacuate by 9:00 AM

I think that setting such a limited goal of destroying the tunnels will help maintain international support for the invasion. Once accomplished Israel can set another goal and so on. Ted Belman

Yoav Zitun, YNET
Latest Update: 07.16.14, 01:14 / Israel News

The IDF called on residents of eastern and northern Gaza to evacuate their homes Tuesday night, apparently ahead of planned military strikes in the areas. A military source said that some 100,000 residents had received warnings to leave their homes.

Specifically, voice messages were left for residents in the eastern Shuja’iyya neighborhood in Gaza City telling them to, “evacuate for the sake of your safety by 8am.” Further messages and instructions are expected to be sent Wednesday morning.

“A ground offensive could help combat the many tunnels in the Strip, where the Air Force is not effective,” the senior official told reporters.

Israel held its fire as of 9am Tuesday as part of the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, but the heavy rocket fire from the Strip, which included long-range rockets to the Karmel area and to the Shfela area, brought about the change in tactics.

“We received authorization to strike from the air following the barrages from the past few hours,” the senior official said. “There will be a response; we will not let this go unnoticed.”

On the possibility of a ground offensive, the senior military official said: “Our recommendations to the political leadership were clear on this issue. A ground maneuver to destroy the tunnels will take somewhere between a week and two weeks, and the troops deployed to the border are trained for this and prepared for this. There is a small but significant amount of tunnels that we’ve yet to expose, and they’re targets in this maneuver.”

The official explained that a ground offensive against the terror tunnels “has high chances of being successful. It will require confrontation with the enemy and the evacuation of civilians, and will lead to the increase of rocket launching at Israel, but we trust the troops. The solutions will come from the fighting forces on the field, from the bottom, not just from the army command.”

IDF OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman commented on the resumption of aerial strikes in the Gaza Strip, saying that “Hamas is in a multidimensional state of distress in the Gaza Strip, but it made a mistake in renewing rocket fire towards us.”

He added that “we are not the address for the solution of its problems and it will pay a price.”

July 16, 2014 | Comments »

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