Netanyahu declares ‘special situation’ as IDF upgrades air strikes to targeted killings

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has ordered more “massive attacks” on Gaza terrorist targets. IDF moves additional tanks to the Gazan border.

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

In response to the massive air attacks from the Gaza Strip, the IDF says that the Israel Air Force (IAF) has struck back by hitting terror targets in Gaza.

Terrorist targets include rocket launchers, terror tunnel shafts, weapons manufacturing factories belonging to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), as well as a PIJ training compound and command center located inside a mosque, and a Hamas weapons depot.

The IDF says that it attacked arms and ammunition warehouses located in the home of Hamas terrorists in Rafah and Khan Yunis and another warehouse in Gaza City in the home of a member involved with Hamas’ rocket infrastructure.

By midnight Saturday, the Israeli military said that it had carried out some 220 air strikes and that the attacks were continuing.

On Sunday, the IDF said that it was starting to attack arms and ammunition depots placed “purposely” by the terrorists in areas populated by civilians and was targeting terrorists themselves.

Gaza sources reported that several people had been killed in the Israeli strikes but the IDF accused the Palestinians of inflating the figures.

“Palestinian propaganda is at its finest,” said IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis sarcastically. “A woman and girl claimed in Gaza to have been killed in an IDF attack were, in fact, killed by Hamas arms and ammunition,” Manelis tweeted.

An IDF spokesperson said that the 7th Armored Brigade had been dispatched to the Israel-Gaza border area to be prepared as necessary.

Military and government sources say that the political echelon has instructed the IDF to be ready for the counter-terror campaign to last a number of days, although the Israeli military censor has barred reporting just how long it is expected to continue.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “special situation” for a 40-kilometer area surrounding the Gaza Strip at a Cabinet meeting convened in Jerusalem on Sunday.

He also ordered the IDF “to continue massive attacks against terrorist elements in the Gaza Strip” and the “reinforcement of the units around the Gaza Strip with armor, artillery, and infantry.”

Repeating the longtime Israeli position, the prime minister said that “Hamas bears the responsibility not only for its own attacks and actions but also for the actions of Islamic Jihad, and it is paying a very heavy price for this.

“We are working – and will continue to work – to restore quiet and security to the residents of the south,” said the prime minister.