The Israel Air Force bombed a weapons manufacturing factory and two terror tunnels Tuesday evening in retaliation for a mortar shell attack on soldiers who were “engaging in a counter-terrorism activity,” according to military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.
“The IDF maintains the right to combat terrorists abusing the Gaza Strip as a springboard for such attacks against Israeli civilians and its forces,” he added.
Reporting by Palestinian Authority media, often quoted without verification by foreign media, illustrates why Palestinian Authority Arabs cannot be expected to believe that Israel acts in self-defense.
Gaza sources said the aerial strikes hit “two chicken farms” and a Hamas tunnel, accord to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.
It also said a fourth strike bombed an empty Islamic Jihad “training site.”
Earlier in the day, The Jewish Press reported here that a Hamas terrorist was killed and four others were wounded in a “work” explosion.
Hamas has renewed escalation of attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers the past month after several weeks of relative quiet, a possible sign of weakness to divert its residents’ attention from poverty and economic pressure from Egypt in the form of occasionally shutting down the crossing into the northern Sinai from Rafiah.
Last Friday, Hamas marked one year since massive rocket fire on Israel that sparked the IDF’s Pillar of Defense counter-terrorism operation.
Terrorist commanders came out from underground to join a military parade.
Hamas commander Raed Sa’as, appearing in public for the first time in years, said, “Next time you [Israel] will not enjoy security in any spot on our occupied land. Our fighters are more capable, ready and trained. Our plans are more comprehensive and our arsenal is more developed.”
The military parade and escalation in rocket attacks, mortar shelling and planting of bombs near the IDF patrol road draws the attention of Gaza residents away from streets flooded by sewage following a power outage at a treatment facility.
Although Egypt has closed down smuggling tunnels that are a big income source for the Hamas regime as well as a source of goods and merchandise for residents, Palestinian Authority media both in Ramallah and Gaza blamed Israel for the “siege.”