Top Defense Ministry Amos Gilad said Thursday that Hamas has been “badly damaged” by the IDF's campaign in response to the terror organizations unending attacks on Israeli civilians. Gilad, Head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomacy-Security Department, said that Hamas was working very hard to keep up its “victorious image,” but was finding it much more difficult now than in the past.
“Hamas is trying very hard to make headlines,” said Gilad. “They issue proclamations of 'victory' and time their major rocket attacks to coincide with 'high pressure' periods,” such as Thursday morning's attack on Tel Aviv at the height of rush hour. As tens of thousands of commuters were driving into the Tel Aviv area Thursday morning, Hamas terrorists fired at least four rockets at the Dan area. All four were shot down by the Iron Dome defensive system.
Hamas also times its heavy rocket attacks for the early evening hours, in the hope of making headlines on the evening TV broadcasts and thus sowing panic among Israelis.
According to Gilad, Hamas is more than ready to end this round of fighting. “They are hoping for a 'high-quality' attack that they can point to and pronounce as a victory, and when that happens they will immediately call a cease-fire. They are sustaining grave losses and cannot continue at this rate,” he said.
Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge three days ago, the IDF has hit 785 terror targets in Gaza – more than in the entire six days of 2012's Operation Defensive Shield. In the 24 hours ended 6 AM Thursday, the army said, 322 terror targets were destroyed, including 217 rocket-launching sites, as well as the homes of 46 Hamas commanders. By now, the army said, nearly all of Hamas' top commanders and their families were homeless.
Since the beginning of the operation, the IDF has hit 513 missile-launching sites. Officials said that the rate of attack against Hamas targets was double that of Defensive Shield, when the IDF pounded Gaza I response to months of endless rocket attacks.