IDF Operation Likely to Include Entry to Gaza
Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beytenu) on Tuesday morning spoke about Operation Protective Edge, which was launched the night before in response to the relentless barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas enclave of Gaza.
"We don't want to enter Gaza. But the current dynamics, if they don't change, will lead to that. We can't continue with small payments (i.e. small strikes on Gaza) - it needs to be much stronger," said Landau to Yedioth Aharonoth.
Landau added "if we enter Gaza it won't be a matter of a day or two, but rather with the goal of completing the job, so that there won't be a terror infrastructure."
The decision to launch the operation was made after the rocket fire escalated dramatically on Monday; as of 10:30 p.m., the number of rockets fired towards Israel stood at over 80, including over 30 rockets that were fired in a ten-minute period between 8:00 p.m. and 8:10 p.m.
In response, Israel struck 50 terror targets in Gaza, including the homes of four officials of the Hamas terrorist organization actively involved in the rocket fire.
Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz of the IDF Spokesperson Unit also spoke to Yedioth Aharonoth on Tuesday about the operation.
"We are very firm, and we have a very significant plan of strikes on the Gaza Strip. We are conducting that at levels that will increase in the coming days. Residents of the south need to follow the orders of the Homefront Command," said Almoz.
The Homefront Command released a short video showing a map of the different levels of preparedness required in 31 different areas of Israel.
The video, which has yet to be released in English, takes the example of the town Ofakim near Gaza to illustrate how the regions work. Ofakim is in the Be'er Sheva area according to the Command's breakdown, and residents there have 45 seconds to reach safe areas or bomb shelters.
Residents of a region that receives a warning are asked to take shelter within the time frame given for that region, adds the video, and to stay in shelter for ten minutes.
A listing of cities by warning time region and more information can be accessed at Homefront Command's website.