Hamas doesn’t agree to calm for calm. Therefore give em hell and invade. Ted Belman
Senior army official says ground offensive necessary to combat terror tunnels. It could take between a week and two weeks, and has high chances of being successful.
Yoav Zitun, YNET
Latest Update: 07.15.14, 15:27 / Israel News
The ceaseless barrages of rockets after the unilateral truce has led the IDF to resume its aerial strikes in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon.
The resumption of aerial strikes might just be the first step towards a ground offensive, which seemed like a long-shot this morning when the cabinet accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal.
“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.
Government officials said that after Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejected Egypt’s offer and fired dozens of rockets at Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon instructed them to forcefully strike terror targets.
“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.”
Prior to the security cabinet’s decision to accept the Egyptian ceasefire offer, the IDF struck 132 terror targets overnight.
IAF strikes Gaza targets
Among the targets attacked were a Hamas’ drones facility, a military site attacked by special forces, and the home of the leader of Hamas’ military wing Marwan Issa. The house is used as a command center.
Other targets attacked include 35 hidden rocket launchers, 12 command and control sites, six operation centers and 10 smuggling and terror tunnels.
Palestinians reported five people had been killed overnight in Gaza, bringing the death toll to 192, with over 1,400 wounded.
The Gaza health ministry said three people had been killed in an airstrike early Tuesday morning in Khas Younis.
Earlier, two Palestinians were killed in an airstrike near area of Israeli settlements evacuated in 2005.
At least four Palestinians were wounded in an airstrike in northern Gaza.
Palestinians reported that the Air Force also attacked the homes of two senior Islamic Jihad members in Gaza, as well as the home of Ismail Haniyeh’s adviser, Basim Naim, destroyed it. Two houses in the al-Shati refugee camp and in Beit Lahiya were destroyed in a 7:30am strike.
The IDF attacked over 1,600 terror targets since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.