A senior Israeli Air Force official said Israel’s response in Gaza to the recent wave of rocket and mortar attacks has been aggressive, with airstrikes targeting key terror centers in the Strip, yet managing to avoid significant casualties in densely-populated urban areas.
“These attacks are very different from what we did in the past,” the officer said, “both in terms of quantity and quality of the targets. The level of targets being hit is much higher – six and seven-story buildings in the heart of Gaza City. And the attacks on them are having a very significant effect on the other side.”
The officer compared the airstrikes to Israel’s responses to Hamas provocations during the summer of 2014, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge”.
“During the entire [seven-week] Operation Protective Edge, we hit two targets like these. Last night alone we hit four.”
The pin-point strikes, the officer continued, require both accuracy and precision to avoid civilian casualties.
“It’s not just that a building is getting hit, it’s getting annihilated in the heart of a civilian urban area. And that’s a very big technical challenge to pull that off.”
While the IDF is working to minimize civilian casualties, the officer emphasized that the air campaign in Gaza was an “aggressive” response to Hamas’ recent wave of rocket attacks on Israel.
“Our operations are very, very aggressive. We don’t want to be in a situation where we’re playing ‘ping pong’ back and forth over every rocket attack. We are making the enemy pay a very heavy price. We’re not letting them rest…and our attacks are having an effect.”
The IDF declared earlier on Tuesday that the IAF has hit 150 terror targets across the Gaza Strip. The IAF officer said dozens of those attacks were carried out within a period of less than 120 minutes.
“We hit dozens of targets in under two hours, including four ‘super targets’ – multi-story buildings in the heart of the city. We did all this without killing anyone, and we made sure that the surrounding buildings were evacuated.”
Some 400 rockets and mortars were fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip since Monday. The IDF reported earlier Tuesday morning that it had struck some 150 terrorist positions across the Gaza Strip since last night.
One person was killed and another injured when a rocket fired by terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip slammed into a residential building in the coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon.
A 40-year-old man was killed in the attack, with several others injured.
Fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas after an Israeli special operations unit was uncovered deep in the Gaza Strip Sunday night, leading to a firefight between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists.
Israeli aircraft were later called in to hit Hamas targets in the Khan Yunis area of southern Gaza
One Israeli officer was killed and another wounded in the fighting.
Seven Hamas terrorists were eliminated.
The IDF killed two terrorists Tuesday morning, including one involved in firing rockets at Israel, and a second who had infiltrated into Israeli territory. Four others were killed during Israel’s retaliatory strikes overnight.