Photo Credit: IDF
Merkava IV Tanks of the 7th Armored Brigade

The IDF has decided to boost its forces in the Gaza vicinity, and the Armored Corps 7th Brigade is preparing to be deployed along the Gaza Strip border. According to the IDF Spokesperson, the brigade is “an available offensive force and not a defensive force.”

Formed during the 1948 War of Independence and in operation ever since, the Armored Corps 7th Brigade is the IDF’s oldest armored brigade, which took part in all of Israel’s wars.

Gaza Arabs walk through the wreckage left by Israeli air strikes overnight, May 5, 2019. / Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
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The IDF expects the next few days to be similar to last Saturday, with no ceasefire in place and Israeli forces preparing to continue the attacks on the Gaza Strip. At 9:30 AM Sunday, an IDF aircraft attacked a squad of terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip.

IDF Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, reported: “In the last few minutes, we have completed another assessment of the situation with the chief of staff, the commander of the air force, and the head of Military Intelligence. As of this time, the enemy has carried out some 450 rocket launches into Israeli territory. This was a joint and coordinated attack by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, as well as by a number of rogue organizations.”

Gaza Arabs walk through the wreckage left by Israeli air strikes overnight, May 5, 2019. / Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

Manelis said Israel’s homeland defense has been effective, despite the casualties. It should be noted that the man who was killed in Ashkelon had gone out of the bomb shelter for a smoke and didn’t get back inside in time. There were two serious injuries so far, including an 80-year-old woman who underwent a successful surgery.

The defense layers include the Iron Dome system, which reported at least 100 confirmed interceptions; the red alerts which cover the entire map without any known gaps. The third layer, according to Manelis, is obeying the Homeland Security updates and instructions. At this point, all citizens inside the 25 mile radius from the border are obligated to follow these orders, which are recommended for civilians further away as well.

The Ashkelon home of 58-year-old man who was killed by a shrapnel, May 5, 2019 / Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90

According to the IDF Spokesperson, since the beginning of the fighting, eight people have been killed in the Gaza Strip. Two of the dead, a mother and her daughter, were killed by the terrorists, according Manelis, who said: “I state officially that they were killed as a result of the use of weapons by Hamas and not as a result of our hit.”

Manelis also said: “We hit an Islamic Jihad tunnel that was about to be completed and ready to carry out an attack. The Jihad thought they were holding a big ace and it was denied them.”

The tunnel, some 60 feet deep, ended inside Israeli territory across from the southern Gaza Strip.

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