Fewer attacks but more forceful ones is the new approach, according to a report.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Israel is changing tactics vis a vis Gaza rockets, Israel Hayom reports on Monday.
In the past, Israel responded swiftly to rocket attacks. It did so on Saturday morning after enduring a barrage of at least 36 rockets the night before. Israel also struck the week prior on April 17 after a smaller Gaza attack, hitting two terrorist training sites.
However, Israel Hayom says that in a decision taken in the last months, the IDF is moving away from an eye-for-an-eye retaliatory approach in favor of fewer, but more forceful, attacks.
“The new policy is a policy of an open ledger, in which every violent event is written down in a ‘ledger’ and Israel chooses the time and the place comfortable for the appropriate response,” Israel Hayom reports.
The new policy, the Israeli daily says, is due to an assessment of past rounds of violence by the IDF in which Israel didn’t come out as successful as it would have liked. It attributed the cause to the fact that Hamas and its satellite terror groups were the initiators, putting Israel in the position of reacting.
After the rocket barrage on Saturday morning, Israel’s reaction was restrained. It didn’t respond at all to another attack on Saturday evening.
However, on Monday the Security Cabinet gave the go-ahead to the IDF to respond with significant force against Hamas if rocket fire continued.
For three nights in a row starting Friday, terrorists from the Gaza Strip fired rockets indiscriminately into Israel’s southern region.
Of the 36 rockets launched on Friday night, six were deemed dangerous and intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. Three more were fired Saturday night, with one being shot down by the system, and another six came Sunday night. The Iron Dome took out two, as they had been headed to the city of Sderot.
Several people were lightly hurt when running to shelter. No serious casualties or damage have been reported, even though two rockets evaded the Iron Dome and landed inside Israeli communities.
Israel also passed a message to Hamas through the UN earlier Monday saying that if more rockets are launched, Israel would respond immediately with a wide-ranging and intense attack in the Gaza Strip.
A Hamas spokesman said “Occupation threats do not scare the Palestinian people.” However, no fire came from Gaza Monday night, possibly indicating the message was received.
A senior IDF officer reports that Hamas had sent quiet messages through the UN, Egypt and other Arab countries that it was trying to stop the rocket fire and had no interest in a further escalation with Israel.
Its public messaging is quite different. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh threatened on the organization’s website Sunday that there would be “no calm if the Zionist entity continues this aggressive policy in Jerusalem … We will only accept that this uprising continues.”