IAF airstrike in Gaza
IAF airstrike in GazaReuters

The IDF Spokesman said Wednesday morning that the military attacked 39 terror targets in Hamas-run Gaza overnight. Over 1,750 terror targets have been hit since Operation Protective Edge began, on July 7.

In particular, last night the IDF carried out targeted attacks on four prominent terrorist leaders, and additional attacks on operational infrastructures that serve as part of Hamas's base for terror activity against Israel.

In addition, the Navy carried out an attack on a terrorist position on the coast, from which operations were launched against Israel. Tank fire was also directed towards a terrorist position in Khan Yunis, killing one terrorist.

The IDF attacked about 100 targets in the last 24 hours, including 47 buried rocket launchers; "terror tunnels" used to store and transport weapons and facilitate infiltrations into Israel; sites for production and storage of weapons; and military compounds.

Among the targets struck overnight was the operational infrastructure of Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar, the operational infrastructure of Ismail al-Ashkar, a senior Hamas leader, and the operational infrastructure of Nasser Abu Nasser, a senior member of Hamas in central Gaza, which serves for the drawing up of wide ranging operational plans.

In addition, a compound that serves Hamas's Interior Ministry was struck. The Interior Ministry is in charge of all of Hamas's security mechanisms, except its "military wing" the Ezzadine al-Qassam Brigade. These mechanisms are deeply involved in the organization's military activity and many of the structures serve for storage of weapons, launching of rockets at Israel, coordinating combat in times of emergency and more.

Hamas enlists a sizable portion of its assets and members to its “military” terror operations, blurring the distinction between civilian employees and members of the military. This makes many Hamas activists and assets legitimate targets, in terms of international law.

Israeli air raids were halted for several hours Tuesday, after Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire to end the fighting. Hamas, however, rejected the truce, and responded to the offer by firing more than 50 rockets at civilian targets in southern and central Israel. In response, the IDF was ordered to restart its military campaign by the prime minister and defense minister, who vowed to ramp-up military strikes as long as Hamas and other terrorist groups continued to target Israeli civilians.

The fresh raids hit Gaza City, southern Khan Yunis, Rafah and central Johr al-Deeq, and killed five people, most or all of whom appear to have been Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. 

Also on Tuesday an Israeli man, 38-year-old Dror Hanin from Beit Aryeh, became the first Israeli fatality after terrorists launched a barrage of mortar fire as civilians were visiting soldiers at the border with Gaza.