The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations continued their massive bombardment of Israeli cities in towns, broadening their radius of fire on Tuesday night to the Tel Aviv area and as far north as Netanya.
The terror groups have launched some 1,000 rockets at Israel, killing an Arab father and his daughter in a village near the town of Lod, and a woman in Rishon Lezion on Tuesday night, and inuring tens of Israelis, most of them suffering from light injuries and shock.
Moshe Gomru, Commander, Central District ZAKA, who was at the scene of the fatal rocket attack in Rishon Lezion said that a two-story building received a direct hit.
“When I arrived, there was a large commotion. I saw a woman, who apparently did not manage to enter the safe room in time, lying close to the building, suffering from multiple injuries as a result of shrapnel. MDA paramedics were forced to pronounce her dead at the scene. ZAKA Central Region volunteers are working to clear the difficult scene of human remains,” he recounted.
An 89-year-old woman, a Holocaust survivor, is in critical condition after her home in Ashkelon was hit by a rocket.
A rocket hit the oil pipeline between Eilat and Ashkelon. A large fire is burning at the point hit.
A total of four Israelis and one foreign caretaker have been killed in the rocket attacks.
Some one million Israeli children remained home on Wednesday as schools in many areas remained closed.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) responded by hitting significant terror targets and terror operatives across the Gaza Strip, marking the IDF’s largest strike since Operation Protective Edge 2014.
The IAF carried out precision attacks on Hamas and Islamic Jihad headquarters, intelligence centers, strategic targets, and homes of Hamas leaders, situated in high-rise buildings and embedded in civilian centers.
The IAF eliminated Hassan Kaogi, head of the Hamas military intelligence security department, and his deputy Wail Issa, head of the military intelligence counterespionage department, as well as Iyad Fathi Faik Sharir, commander of the Hamas anti-tank missile unit.
An IDF spokesman said Wednesday morning that more than 1,000 rockets were fired at Israel more than 500 targets were attacked in the Gaza Strip.
The houses of Gaza City commander Bassem Issa, commander of Khan Yunis Rafa Salma and the head of Hamas’ military intelligence unit, Muhammad Yazuri, which were used as terrorist infrastructure, were attacked.
A building used by the Hamas terrorist organization in the Remal neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip was bombed. The building housed the intelligence headquarters, the West Bank headquarters, the information department, and the Hamas Gaza Brigade. Prior to the attack, the IDF warned the civilians who were in the building and gave them sufficient time to evacuate the building.
On Tuesday evening, the IAF conducted a massive strike of some 80 aircraft and hit about 100 launching sites in northern Gaza.
“The goal of the operation is to inflict a severe blow on Hamas until it realizes that it was not worth it,” an IDF spokesman said.
Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi stated that the IDF has hit over 500 targets, hitting and killed dozens of terrorist operatives.
“I tell you that on the other side of Gaza – the reality is harsh,” he said.
The Gaza Ministry of Health has reported 35 deaths and 233 injuries since the escalation began.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Tuesday evening that Israel is “in the midst of a major campaign – Operation Guardian of the Walls.”
“Hamas and Islamic Jihad have paid and – I tell you here – will pay a very heavy price for their aggression. I say here this evening – their blood is on their head,” he warned.
“This campaign will take time. With determination, unity and strength, we will restore security to the citizens of Israel,” he declared.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated that “the heads of the organizations are crumbling throughout Gaza – and more will crumble.”
“There are a lot of goals in line – this is just the beginning. I know the Gaza arena, the terrorist organizations have been severely damaged and will continue to be harmed due to their promiscuous decision to fire into Israel. We will restore peace and security and do so in the long run,” he said.
To the world leaders, he said that “there is not a sovereign country anywhere that would accept incoming rocket fire on its citizens and population centers. We do not accept it either. It is our right and responsibility to act, and that is what we will do.”