The IDF threatens to strike any Gaza house from which rockets or mortar shells are fired, deviating from its previous retaliatory policies.
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In prerecorded messages, text messages and airdropped leaflets, the military warned Gaza residents on Saturday that "every house from which militant activity is carried out, will be targeted," and warned residents to stay away "from where fire was directed at Israel."
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So far, the IDF has been targeting houses from which fire at army forces was spotted, or houses used as command centers or arms stashes, but from now on will also strike civilian homes from which mortar shells are fired, an army officer said.
According to the officer, the new retaliatory policy followed "hundreds of instances in which civilian homes were used" to fire rockets or mortar shells toward Israel. The officer said that while the houses are not directly used as launching sites, militants access underground passages through shafts inside civilian homes, in order to reach the launching pads, situated in farming areas. In the prerecorded messages, the IDF urged Gaza residents to prevent "terrorists from using your property for their purposes," and warned them to steer clear "immediately from where they [the militants] are active."
Since the collapse of the truce last Tuesday, over 520 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, of which 70 rockets were intercepted. The IDF has since struck about 240 targets in the Strip.
On Friday, an Israeli four-year-old boy was killed when a mortar shells after a mortar shell hit a car in a kibbutz by the Gaza border - the first Israeli child to be killed during this round of violence.