IDF jets, tanks bombard Hamas targets in Gaza Strip

Israel’s efforts to deter Hamas from its arson terror have so far not borne fruit.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Twenty-eight fires ignited yesterday in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip as the Hamas terror group continued to launch arson balloons into Israel, marking several weeks of escalation. In response, Israeli fighter jets and tanks targeted terror infrastructure.

Israel has changed its strategy somewhat in dealing with attacks from the Strip and has begun responding “one-to-one,” that is, attacking after every attack, leading to a daily response. In the past, the IDF would hold off and retaliate only after a number of attacks from the other side.

The new method hasn’t appeared to lead to any change by Hamas as the attacks keep coming.

The situation is fragile and should Hamas score a direct hit resulting in significant loss of life, the IDF will be forced to engage in much more forceful manner. There have been several close calls already.

On Sunday, a suspicious object landed near a playground. An IDF sapper neutralized the devices and no casualties were reported. Earlier in the day, an incendiary balloon hit an electricity pole near two kibbutzim, Mefalsim and Nir Am. Israel’s electric company used a backup generator so the electricity supply wasn’t interrupted.

Early Friday morning a home in Sderot was hit. There were no injuries, although three women were treated for shock. The home was heavily damaged.

“It’s a miracle,” homeowner Shlomo Malka said. He was incredulous that no one was hurt.

Last Monday, A fire consumed a kindergarten in Sderot after an arson balloon landed nearby. The area was empty of children at the time and no injuries were reported.

Hamas leaders have reportedly gone underground, fearing that Israel will return to targeted assassinations. Israel has not made any statement regarding a return to that policy. Its last targeted killing was in 2019 against an Islamic Jihad commander.