The Israel Air Force conducted a series of airstrikes on terror targets in the Gaza Strip Saturday night following relentless rocket attacks by terrorists on southern Israel.
In a statement released by the IDF, the IAF targeted ten targets, including concealed rocket launchers and a weapons manufacturing site.
“Following constant rocket fire at Israeli communities in the south, IAF aircraft targeted 10 terror sites in the central and southern Gaza strip, including concealed rocket launchers and a weapon manufacturing facility,” the IDF stated.
“The IDF is prepared to defend the citizens of Israel from any threat and will continue to act decisively and as long as necessary until calm is restored,” the statement said. The IDF added that it holds Hamas, the governing terror-organization in Gaza, responsible for the attacks.
On Saturday, as Jews throughout Israel we celebrating the Sabbath, tens of thousands of residents of southern Israel were forced into bomb shelters. At least 20 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel throughout the day.
Majority of the rockets fell in the Eshkol region. However, for the first time since 2012, two rockets hit Be’er Sheva. One of the two rockets was shot down by the Iron Dome Missile Defense system. The second rocket landed in an open field.
On Thursday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Hamas: Stop the rocket attacks or Israel will be forced to take action in Gaza. The cease-fire, which was rumored to be mediated by Egypt, has been ignored by Hamas.
On Saturday evening, in response to Israel’s threats, Hamas stated that it will reach “all” of Israel’s cities with rockets should Israel enter Gaza. An image uploaded to the Hamas Arabic language website showed a Grad rocket launcher in flames with a caption in Hebrew reading, “All cities are close to Gaza.”
Netanyahu, at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, made clear that Israel will not tolerate continued aggression by Hamas.
“We are working on several fronts simultaneously. Overnight we were active against many Hamas targets in Gaza and the goal of all of our operations is to restore quiet and security to all of Israel’s citizens, especially the residents of the south,” he stated. “Experience proves that at such times we must act responsibly and with equanimity, not hastily. We will do whatever is necessary to restore quiet and security to the south.”