Netanyahu Decides to Expand Operations Until Rockets Stop
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held security consultations at IDF Southern Command headquarters in Be'er Sheva Wednesday, along with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sammy Turgeman.
Following the consultations, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "We have decided to further increase the assault on Hamas and the terrorist organizations in Gaza. The IDF is prepared for all possibilities. Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing at Israel's citizens. The security of Israel's citizens is our primary consideration. Our military is strong, the home front is steadfast and our people are united. This combination is our response to the terrorist organizations that want to attack us.
“We are all united in the mission to strike at the terrorist organizations and restore quiet. The operation will be expanded and will continue until the firing at our communities stops and quiet is restored. I ask that the public continue to listen to the instructions from IDF Home Front Command – they save lives. On behalf of Israel's citizens, I thank all IDF soldiers and ISA personnel who are participating in the operation."
The IDF is purposely targeting the homes of top Hamas officials, experts said Wednesday. According to commentary on Israeli media, the water supply at the “refugee camp” neighborhood of Shati in Gaza has been cut off by the Israeli attacks. This is seen as personally targeting Hamas “Prime Minister” Ismail Haniya, who lives in Shati. As an expert said – Haniya will not be showering in his home in the coming days.
Another expert noted that a similar strategy was pursued by the IDF in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, in which the entire Beirut neighborhood that housed Hezbollah's men – the Dahia – was turned to rubble.
However, Israel is still not targeting civilian infrastructures such as water and electricity in a way that would create large scale pressure on the Hamas leadership. The Chairman of Israel Electric Company, Yiftah Ron-Tal, sauid Wednesday that he supports cutting off electricity to Gaza – currently supplied by Israel. He noted that the Palestinians owe the IEC a large debt that they are not paying.