Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail HaniyaAFP file

The IDF is purposely targeting the homes of top Hamas officials, experts say. According to commentary on Israeli media Wednesday, 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 Hizbullah'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.

Deputy Transprt Minister Tzipi Hotovely also told Channel 2 that it is time for Israel to stop supplying Gaza with electricity and water.

Five Palestinians were killed on Wednesday when an Israeli missile struck a house in central Gaza, Hamas emergency services told AFP.

Spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said the strike targeted a house in Al-Maghazi, a beachside refugee camp near Deir al-Balah.

Earlier, the spokesman said that 17 Palestinians, including 11 women and children, were killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza Wednesday, hiking the overall death toll to 38 in two days. More than 300 people have been wounded.

The deadliest single strike took place shortly after midnight when a missile slammed into a house in the northern town of Beit Hanun, killing Hafez Hammad, a senior Islamic Jihad commander, and five of his family members.

Elsewhere in Gaza, a 30-year-old man was killed in a pre-dawn strike on the southern city of Rafah. His identity was not immediately clear.

Overnight, Israeli warplanes struck 160 targets, raising the overall number of strikes to 430 since the launch of Operation Protective Edge in the early hours of Tuesday.

Since midnight, at least 10 rockets struck Israel, and another 16 were shot down by Iron Dome, two of them over the Tel Aviv area, an army spokeswoman said.

Throughout Tuesday, 117 rockets struck Israel, with 45 of them targeting major cities in the center, among them Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as Hadera, 116 kilometers (72 miles) to the north.

Another 45 missiles were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

On Tuesday, 21 Palestinians were killed, including 17 in strikes on Gaza, as well as four Hamas terrorists who were shot dead after infiltrating southern Israel by sea.