Israeli ground and aerial attacks targeted 29 terror sites in Gaza in a quick and widespread retaliation Wednesday night, hours after Islamic Jihad said it was behind a massive missile and mortar shelling barrage of Jewish communities near Gaza.
The retaliation came two hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “If there is no quiet in Israel, there will be noise in Gaza, and that is an understatement.”
The IDF said that direct hits were confirmed in the artillery and aerial fire. IDF Spokesman Peter Lerner said that the barrage from Gaza towards sunset Wednesday involved 41 rockers, five of which exploded in populated areas and three of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. No injuries were reported, and property damage was minimal.
It was the most serious retaliation for Gaza missile attacks since the Pillar of Defense counter terrorist camping in November 2012.
“This retaliation was precise and prompt. We targeted the infrastructure that serves the terrorists while they train, plan and implement their hideous attacks. They will not be permitted to conspire in the safety of their terrorist temples,” said Lt. Col. Lerner.
Islamic Jihad spokesman said that it unleashed the barrage in revenge for the Israeli Air Force’s bombing its terrorists, three of whom were killed in a strike on Tuesday following the shelling of Israeli soldiers on patrol near the Gaza security fence.
Regardless of whether the attacks were carried out with Hamas’ permission, it may help tighten the noose on Hamas.
The new Egyptian military regime has followed its ban of the Muslim Brotherhood bydeclaring an enemy.
The regime has destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels.
The Israeli Navy’s seizure last week of Iranian missiles destined for Gaza via Sudan exposed the Tehran-Gaza connection in capital letters.
Hamas has gone to the extreme to spit on the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose peace plans, worthless anyway, are even more of a sick joke without Gaza.
The U.S. State Dept. not only stated on Wednesday that Israel has every right to retaliate to defend its citizens, it also did not come up with the usual nonsense of pleading for a “proportional response,” although a true proportional response would be to flatten Gaza.
The Egyptian siege on Gaza, which has included the frequent closure of the crossing at Rafiah, the southern Gaza smuggling capital that straddles the Egyptian-Gaza border, has taken the wind out of the sails of the anti-Israeli chorus that condemns an Israeli siege that does not exist, except on the seas. The Iranian arms ship was clear evidence and support for the maritime embargo.
Hamas has been losing control of Gaza for the past year or so. Rival terrorist organizations are competing with Hamas, whose weakness is symbolized by its public executions and imposition of Muslim law on residents. The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency added, “Three other Palestinian militant groups also claimed to have participated in the attacks on Israel, including the National Resistance Brigades, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.”
After Wednesday’s attacks on Israel, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for invading Gaza and taking control.
That would be too good a solution for Gaza’s residents, whose younger generation does not even remember the days of economic prosperity and peace and quiet of the 1970s and early 1980s when Israel officially controlled Gaza but in fact gave local officials a free hand to run their own affairs.
Hamas has a lot more sweating to do before Israel saves Gaza from its Hamas executors.