The Israel Defense Forces has carried out dozens of airstrikes on key Hamas targets throughout the Gaza Strip on Monday evening following a rocket attack that destroyed a home in central Israel earlier in the day.
“We are just at the beginning,” IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis told Ynet News. “A large attack is planned. I think that Hamas understands this is a significant strike [following] a serious incident, and ultimately, this is a price that Hamas has been accruing for the past year.”
According to the IDF, it has targeted Hamas’s secret military intelligence headquarters in Gaza.
“Fighter jets just now attacked a three-story building in the area of Sabra in the Gaza Strip. This is a secret headquarters of the Hamas terror group, which is used by the internal security, central intelligence and military intelligence branches of the group,” the IDF said in a statement.
And now what you all asked for…
Video of Ismail Haniyeh’s office getting smooshed. pic.twitter.com/WfsCHmucFZ
— The Mossad (@TheMossadIL) March 25, 2019
It added: “This is a central asset of the Hamas terror group, which is being attacked along with other strikes the IDF is conducting now in the Gaza Strip.”
The IDF released a video after the attack showing that it had used the so-called “knock on the roof” procedure, whereby a non-explosive round is first fired on the building to warn anyone inside to evacuate before the building is targeted.
Additionally, the Israeli military said it had hit dozens of other Hamas military sites in Gaza, including military bases, entrances to tunnels, observation posts and rocket launchpads.
The strikes in Gaza come after a rocket destroyed a home in the central Israel agricultural town of Mishmeret, which injured seven people, including three children.
The rocket is believed to have been fired from southern Gaza, approximately 60 miles from its target, the longest-range attack from Gaza since the 2014 “Operation Protective Edge.” Earlier in March, two rockets were also fired on Tel Aviv for the first time since 2014 as well.
In preparation for the strikes in Gaza, the IDF has also called up two additional brigades to the Gaza region, as well as 1,000 reservists. Additional Iron Dome batteries were deployed throughout the country.