Author Topic: Israeli Air Force steps up air strikes on Hamas missile factories and bunkers  (Read 154 times)

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Israeli Air Force steps up air strikes on Hamas missile factories and bunkers

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TEL AVIV — Israel’s military, prevented from a ground invasion, has instead targeted Palestinian missile and rocket arsenals in the Gaza Strip.

Military sources said the Israel Air Force, in coordination with the intelligence community, was trying to destroy arsenals of Hamas and its militia allies in the Gaza Strip.

The sources said the Air Force was working with a bank of targets, including suspected missile factories, bunkers and tunnels.

“We’ll know how to respond with great force if quiet isn’t returned to
 the area,” Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said.

On July 7, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired medium-range rockets into
 Israeli cities near Tel Aviv. There were no reports of casualties in a
 barrage of nearly 100 rockets and missiles, attacks claimed by Hamas. Hamas
 said it lost nine fighters in Israeli air strikes, most of which targeted
 the southern Gaza City of Rafah.

“Al Kassam fired dozens of rockets on Netivot and Ashkelon, Ashdod and
 Ofakim in response to the Zionist aggression,” Hamas’ Izzedin Kassam
 military wing said.

The sources said the Air Force was also targeting underground rocket
 launchers. On July 7, the military said five launchers were destroyed in an
 air strike over the Gaza Strip.

In all, the Air Force struck 50 targets. The sources said Hamas and
 Islamic Jihad contained more than 12,000 missiles and rockets.

“We are mounting the forces to enable us to mobilize if required,”
Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said. “I can’t see that
 happening immediately, but we have a green light to recruit more reserve
 troops that will enable us to carry out a ground mission.”

Israel’s Iron Dome missile and rocket defense system was said to have
 played a marginal role in the latest mini-war with the Gaza Strip. Over the
 last three days, Iron Dome was reported to have intercepted around 20
 Palestinian rockets.

The mini-war has divided the government of Prime Minister Benjamin
 Netanyahu, said to have come under U.S. pressure to limit military
 operations. On July 7, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has advocated
 an invasion of the Gaza Strip, quit Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Later, a
 Cabinet committee ruled out major ground operations against Hamas.

“What we need to achieve is not only deterrence,” Intelligence Minister
 Yuval Steinitz said. “I’m talking about taking control of Gaza, cleaning out
 the stables in Gaza and leaving Gaza.”
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 08:48:46 AM by rangerrebew »
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