Israeli military forces resumed air strikes in Gaza on Wednesday, targeting rocket launcher sites and other positions belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist organization.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with southern local and regional council heads and told them, “We are ready for the possibility of an expanded campaign and harsh strikes against Gaza.”
As the afternoon wore on, Israeli fighter pilots continued bombing rocket launchers and other terrorist positions of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and its close ally, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group even as heavy rocket fire was aimed at Israeli territory.
Two terrorists was killed in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah.
לפחות מחבל אחד מחוסל בתקיפה לפני זמן קצר ב-רפיח pic.twitter.com/P9rEV9WV4A
— בז news (@1717Bazz) May 10, 2023
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, as of 4 pm Wednesday, 19 were killed and 37 more wounded since the start of Operation Shield and Arrow.
At midday, the IDF attacked two of the terror group’s operatives riding in a vehicle who were on their way to a rocket launch site in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis.
כלי טיס תקף לפני זמן קצר רכב ובו פעילי טרור שהיו בדרכם לעמדת שיגור רקטות בחאן יונס.
חיל-האוויר ימשיך לפעול על מנת לשמר את ביטחונם של תושבי מדינת ישראל pic.twitter.com/bBIqwOwZSk
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) May 10, 2023
At least one of the operatives, believed to have been a senior PIJ commander, was killed in the strike. A second operative was injured.
Israel Air Force pilots also targeted rocket launching sites in Beit Lahiya, Jabaliya, and elsewhere in northern and central Gaza, including the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, al-Baidar (southwest of Gaza City) and Quraish (south of Gaza City), as well as in the southern Gaza towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, along the border with Egypt.
Local sources reported that a Hamas position was also struck in southern Gaza. Up to this point, Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has not been attacked, in accordance with Operation Shield and Arrow objectives to maintain a tight focus on solely targeting the PIJ terrorist group.
“The delay in response is part of the response,” Hamas said in a brief statement at around 12:50 pm. “We will be part of the response that will be strong and painful.”
Neither terrorist group has succeeded in launching rockets, missiles or mortar shells at Israeli territory since the start of Operation Shield and Arrow early Tuesday morning. However, both Hamas and PIJ are generously backed by Iran, as is its Lebanese proxy, the Hezbollah terrorist organization, across Israel’s northern border, and are expected to launch a response at some point.
Israeli residents living near the border with Gaza were ordered by IDF Home Front Command to enter their bomb shelters and other safe spaces as the bombing began. About an hour later, residents were allowed to leave their safe spaces.