Photo Credit: Screenshot

A senior IDF officer referred to the escalation in Gaza overnight Thursday and said that “We’ve had a round of escalation whose end I do not see.” The officer accused Hamas of responsibility for the escalation, admitting: “It may take some time to restore quiet to the south.”

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Referring to the much reported talks with Hamas through Egyptian intermediaries, the same officer said: “Hamas is moving away from a settlement, and approaching a campaign in which it will receive a severe blow.”

“This morning we are closer to war,” the officer said, adding that the IDF attacks will continue in the coming hours and that reinforcements are on their way.

“If need be, should we enter a significant action, we will also evacuate settlements up to 2.5 miles from the Gaza Strip. […] We also spread and expand the array of iron dome systems.”

According to the IDF spokesperson, the air force carried out three waves of large-scale attacks in the Gaza Strip, the last of which was in the early hours of the morning Thursday. Fighter planes attacked more than 20 targets in military compounds and in a Hamas training camp.

Among the targets that were bombed throughout the night were a battalion headquarters in Jabalya; a military complex that includes a naval tunnel in northern Gaza City; a compound used to store rocket making and tunnel digging equipment; a military compound with a shaft of a terror tunnel east of east of Jabalya; a factory for the manufacture of tunnel digging components and of concrete slabs for tunnels; the shaft of an underwater terror tunnel in the coastal area; and terrorist targets in a number of military compounds, including sites for the manufacture of weapons and rockets, and a military compound serving as a central logistics warehouse.

The manufacturing plant was located in a civilian hotel that was taken over by Hamas.

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