Update, 5:34 PM, Israel Time: The IDF carried out an extensive attack damaging to the long-range launch capabilities (over 25 miles) of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The attack caused significant damage to underground launch systems and weapons and ammunition storehouses belonging to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. The purpose of the attack is to disrupt the launch capabilities of terrorist organizations and damage terrorist network buildup.
At 4:10 PM Israel time, Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz approved an extensive attack against Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. As part of this campaign, the IDF attacked a car driven by the head of the military wing of Hamas in Gaza, Ahmed Jabari. Jabari led the Hamas terrorist organization in recent years and directly coordinated numerous deadly attacks against Israel.
The purpose of the campaign, dubbed ‘Pillar of Cloud,’ is to strike a blow at the command and control of Hamas and to undermine the organization’s terrorist infrastructure. For the time being the operation is intended as a surgical strike of the IDF, in collaboration with the ISA (Israel Security Agency or Shabak), with targets picked based on accurate intelligence and advanced fire capabilities.
The IDF will continue to attack targets that are serving as bases for terror against Israeli civilians. The Army will do the maximum to improve the security of Israel’s southern communities and improve the security situation around the Gaza Strip. Home Front Command and emergency authorities have taken all the require steps and Israeli citizens are being asked to follow Home Front Command instructions.
IDF spokesman Brigadier General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai said that IDF operations got underway following the “intolerable situation in the south of Israel, in order to harm the terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.” During the night IDF Chief of Staff Gantz approved a highly detailed plan – but as of now, all the options are open for inflicting serious damage on Hamas and other terrorist organizations.”