IDF destroys Hamas terror tunnels

PM Netanyahu says IDF attacks on Hamas were strongest since 2014's Operation Protective Edge. IDF: Hamas leaders are still underground.

Orly Harari,

IDF attacks terror targets in Gaza
IDF attacks terror targets in Gaza
IDF spokesperson

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Saturday with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, and other senior defense officials to discuss the recent barrage of rockets fired at Israel from Gaza.

In a statement, Netanyahu said, "The decision to attack was made due to violence from Gaza. Israel will increase the tempo as necessary. We sent the message that our attack on Hamas was the strongest since Operation Protective Edge four years ago."

Eizenkot meet with the IDF's Gaza Division, as well as Southern Command Commander Hertzi Halevi, Operations Head Major General Aharon Halyua, Gaza Division Commander Brigadier General Yehuda Fuchs, and other commanders. During the briefing, the forces' activities were presented, and their preparedness to take any steps necessary was discussed.

"The IDF is acting against terror activities in the border area which are led by the Hamas terror organization," an IDF spokesman said. "These activities include fire on Jewish border towns and arson terror."

"The IDF will increase as much as necessary the tempo of its attacks on Gaza. We will continue to act to improve the security situation and to strengthen southern residents' feeling of security."

IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis on Saturday detailed the IDF's recent attacks on Gaza, and explained that the IDF is prepared for any scenario.

"At this stage, it is too early to discuss a large operation, even though we are ready and prepared for a wide range of scenarios and have the ability to protect and attack. Within the last 24 hours, we attacked Gaza harder than we have in any attack since Operation Protective Edge - both in quantity, in type of targets, and in timing."

"Our achievements were significant. We hit two tunnels which Hamas had worked on over the course of several months. We hit the command center of the Beit Lahia Battalion, and we destroyed the entire command center, which included over 20 targets... We attacked a multi-story building which served as a training base for Hamas, and we destroyed several weapons storehouses, including some which were sensitive.

"These achievements and attacks were very significant. Hamas doesn't even understand what has happened to it. Most of Hamas' commanders are hiding underground, and have not yet come out and understood what happened and what we achieved. Hamas fires, and this firing must end, but most of what they fire is shot down by the Iron Dome and falls in open areas. We do much in order to reduce [Hamas'] effectiveness. There is no guideline in the IDF that says we should not hit the other side's terrorists - the opposite is true."


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