Photo Credit: IDF
IDF Apache Helicopters

The Israel Defense Forces launched an attack Monday on Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization more than 12 hours after a medium-range missile attack from the enclave wounded seven, including a baby, a toddler, another child and at least four adults.

The family’s dogs were killed in the attack, which turned the family’s home into rubble, and damaged another 30 houses in the community of Moshav Mishmeret in the Sharon region in central Israel, some 75 miles from Rafah, where the rocket launcher was located.

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The IDF said Israeli fighter pilots bombed Hamas terrorist targets in both northern and southern Gaza, and struck the three-story building that serves as the Hamas headquarters for general security, general intelligence and military intelligence.

“This is a central government asset of the Hamas terrorist organization,” the IDF said. “It has been attacked in parallel with the IDF’s ongoing attacks in the Gaza Strip, which are carried out in response to the rocket fire into Israeli territory.

“The Hamas terrorist organization bears responsibility for everything happening in and out of the Gaza Strip,” said Ronen Manelis, Chief IDF Spokesperson. “This is the headquarters of Hamas.

“We will attack similar buildings in the coming hours,” Manelis said. “Hamas has dozens of missiles that can reach the Sharon region.”

So far there have been no casualties. “Prior to the attack, a “knock on the roof” was carried out,” a military source said.

The “knock on the roof” is a practice carried out by IDF pilots who fire a small dud at a roof in order to “knock” on the roof of the home to notify the occupants that there will shortly be an attack, and to warn them to leave in time to avoid being caught in the crossfire.

“The idea is to damage assets and to collapse the headquarters,” the military source said. “The attacks will continue in the coming hours. Eleven days ago the Israeli Air Force attacked 100 targets in the Gaza Strip. Tonight there will probably be more.”

Gaza residents have raided shops and bakeries to store food as Hamas police disappear from the streets.

Among the towns hit by the IDF so far are Khan Younis and Suja’ya, hotbeds of terrorism and both areas where combat was extremely heavy during the last war in 2014.

However, the Gaza Health Ministry at Shifa issued a statement early Monday evening, saying, “We confirm that no casualties have been reported in the Shifa Medical Complex and in all the hospitals so far as a result of the Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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