Israeli Defense Sources: Army Won't Stop Extensive Strikes in Gaza

After a barrage of rockets were launched into Israel from Gaza, an army spokesperson says targeted attacks on production sites for Hamas and Islamic Jihad will not stop as long as rockets continue

Yaniv Kubovich
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Palestinians gather on the beach in Gaza City as smoke and fire billow following  airstrikes by Israel in response to rockets fired by militants, May 4, 2019.
Palestinians gather on the beach in Gaza City as smoke and fire billow following airstrikes by Israel in response to rockets fired by militants, May 4, 2019. Credit: AFP
Yaniv Kubovich

Extensive assaults on the Gaza Strip will continue with no intention of halting the attacks due to the past weekend of rockets fired into Israel, defense sources say.

Israeli attacks have been focused on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets within the Strip with the intent of damaging both organizations. As long as rockets continue, the Israel Defense Forces say they will continue with their operations.

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On Saturday evening, fighter jets attacked a building that houses offices of Hamas’ intelligence and general security in the Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City. The building is a multi-story structure that the Israeli army considers a significant target.

Before the attack, a smaller missile was fired, known as a “knock on the roof,” to warn nearby civilians of an impending attack.

The IDF said Saturday that a decision had been made to attack Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, focusing their attacks mainly on targets in the Strip belonging to the two organizations.

Among the targets attacked was an underground Hamas rocket production site in the Netzarim area. According to the IDF spokesperson this was a unique site, central to the organization in terms of its rocket production capacity.

Israel also attacked Hamas’ Burj Battalion command, where weapons production sites are located, a military compound at Tel al-Waha, which serves as a training base for Hamas’ naval operation, another compound at Tel al-Waha as well as a number of military compounds in Jabalya, Shujaiyeh. Two military compounds at Beit Lahia, operated jointly by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, were also struck.

Over the past several weeks, the Israeli army has been attempting to regain its ability to stanch the stream of rocket fire coming from the Strip, after failing to do so last year. The army assembeled a task force with members of all branches of the security establishment to carry out the operation.

The army spokesperson said Saturday that the army managed to strike two rocket launch cells, from which hundreds of rockets were fired toward Israel. The spokesperson added that the Israeli army has yet to find an efficient way to stop the stream of rockets.

In the past, the IDF managed to hit the rocket launchers shortly after they were fired, but Hamas familiarized itself with such methods and changed its operational behavior in order. In the attacks over the weekend, IDF attack planes were seen in the area .