The IDF announced late Sunday morning it is resuming its offense against Hamas terrorists following massive rocket and missile fire that targeted metropolitan Tel Aviv despite Israel’s extension of a humanitarian ceasefire at the request of the United Nations.
“Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza.,” military spokesmen stated. “The IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has repeatedly called out to the civilian population of Gaza not to approach combat zones.”
Sources reported mid-morning on Sunday that the Israeli Air Force targeted several areas in Gaza.
Hamas fired missiles and rockets as far north as Petach Tikvah, north of Tel Aviv, Sunday morning, and the Iron Dome shot down the rocket and one other missile. No damage or injuries were reported.
Terrorists fired at least seven rockets and missiles shortly around 8:30. Five that were not intercepted by the Iron Dome exploded in open areas.
The IDF reported that soldiers have found and destroyed 30 tunnels used by terrorists to escape or to stage attacks on Israelis since the beginning of the war, which has claimed the lives of 43 soldiers, two Israeli citizens and a foreign worker from Thailand. One wounded soldier remains in the hospital in critical condition, and another 133 are being treated for light to serious injuries.
Hamas and other Gaza terrorists have launched more than 2,250 rockets, mortar shells and missiles at Israel since the beginning of the 20-day-old war. The Iron Dome has intercepted 414 of them. Several hundred rockets have misfired and exploded in Gaza, killing and wounding civilians.
The Air Force has struck approximately 2,700 targets, and military officials estimate that the Israeli war on terror has sapped Hamas’ morale, drastically reduced its stockpile of weapons and has eliminated leading Hamas commanders.
Gaza is devastated, and the current humanitarian truce has given the local population an opportunity to dig out bodies and realize the extent of the devastation as a result of IDF attacks on terrorists responsible for relentless rocket attacks on most of Israel.
Houses, mosques used by terrorists to fire on Israel, and infrastructure have been seriously damaged or destroyed, and Washington Post journalist William Booth reported Sunday, “Local reporters and Gaza residents said the scale of destruction in the areas targeted — the acres of bombed housing — exceeded damage done in the two previous wars of 2009 and 2012.”
Several reports have claimed that popular opinion in Gaza is turning against Gaza.
“We want a cease fire at any cost,” Mohammed Hassounah told FoxNews.com from a hospital in central Gaza.
Hamas has threatened journalists to keep their reportage biased against Israel or face recriminations, and one Gaza media editor, who insisted on remaining anonymous, told Fox News, “You need to understand that Palestinian blood has been shed by Hamas itself. Living under Hamas is a tragedy.
“No one can forgive Hamas for butchering Palestinians to get power. Most Gazans hate Hamas with a passion.
“We would love to have an independence from both Fatah and Hamas, who are profiting off the Palestinian people. We need to rule ourselves.”
The Toronto Globe & Mail wrongly estimated on Friday that Hamas is winning the war because its goal is to make life in Israel abnormal. Basing its information on a Hamas legislator, the newspaper reported, “The militants have brought the war to the doorstep of many more Israelis than ever before… And with its labyrinth of tunnels beneath Israel’s frontier, Hamas has undermined Israelis’ sense of invulnerability.”
It highlighted what Hamas has claimed are civilian deaths in Israeli land, sea and aerial attacks on terror targets.
However, the success of the Iron Dome antimissile system and of the IDF to prevent terrorists from emerging from tunnels inside Israel and carrying out massacres has brought out national unity and a feeling of security that arguably has not been seen in the country possibly since the Six-Day-War in 1967.
The liberal center-left electronic and print media are solidly behind the government, and criticism of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been rare. Polls have shown that he has landslide support, and the only vocal criticism has come from extreme left-wingers and Israeli Arabs, thousands of whom demonstrated in Tel Aviv Saturday night before the police dispersed them as Hamas renewed rocket fire towards the area.
The international community is finding it difficult to justify Hamas, which has been exposed by UNRWA as well as an excellent IDF information campaign as being guilty of war crimes.
It damaged itself even more Saturday night and Sunday be refusing to extend the humanitarian truce and launching rockets n Israel, which unilaterally extended ceasefire.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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