IDF aircraft, tanks pound Hamas terror targets in Gaza

“The IDF views any terror activity against Israel with great severity and will continue operating as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli civilians,” the IDF said.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

IDF fighter jets, attack helicopters and tanks struck a number of Hamas terror targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

During the strike a military compound, underground infrastructures and observation posts belonging to the Hamas terror organization were hit.

“The IDF views any terror activity against Israel with great severity and will continue operating as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli civilians,” the IDF said.

Israel’s attack came in response to new wave of explosive balloons launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The balloons began last Thursday, and after a lull over the weekend, returned in force by Monday.

On Tuesday, Israel firefighters struggled to put out 60 brush fires started by the floating Molotov cocktails. In some cases, small explosions were heard by southern residents as the bombs landed. The day before, fire balloons reached as far as Be’er Sheba and Ofakim, starting more than 25 fires in Israel and burning hundreds of acres.

“We’ve become game pieces between Hamas and the Defense Ministry,” said Ronen, a farmer from the region, Israel Hayom reported on Tuesday.

“They do with us as they please. Hamas wants to send a message to Israel regarding the transfer of money from Qatar and the advancing of economic projects. They aren’t answered by the defense apparatus and those who make policy in Israel, and so they turn the residents of the Gaza envelope into hostages in the game, sending balloons, explosive devices, burning here the labor of our hands. And the State of Israel? Utter silence.”

The Israeli farmer referred to $150 million Qatar promised in humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in March. The money, paid in six installments, is about to run out. Hamas wants to ensure cash keeps flowing to its coffers and has turned to the only method it knows how to get its way – terror.

On Monday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz in response ordered the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip closed except for fuel and humanitarian goods due to the renewed attacks.

Israel’s Kan News reports that the pro-Qatari newspaper Al-Arabi Al-Jadid says that factions in Gaza, and Hamas in particular, want only a limited confrontation with Israel, but if mediators and Israel ignore Gaza’s demands, the conflict will worsen.