(November 14, 2018 / Israel Hayom) The IDF released data on Tuesday on the scope of its strikes on the Gaza Strip over the previous two days, as a fragile truce brokered between Israel and Hamas came into force.
In the worst flare-up in the area since 2014, Gaza terrorists fired hundreds of rockets and mortar shells on Israeli communities near the border over Monday night and Tuesday morning, killing one person and wounding 55.
The IDF said more than 450 projectiles were fired from Gaza in under 36 hours, 100 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system, while more than 200 landed in open areas, 30 hit urban areas in southern Israel, and the rest hit on the Gazan side of the border.
The Israeli Air Force struck 160 Hamas assets and more than a dozen Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, including what it called “four unique strategic assets.”
One of the targets destroyed was Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV headquarters in Gaza City. Other high-value targets included Hamas’s intelligence headquarters, its internal security building, a research and development center and several weapon arsenals.
The IDF stressed that to limit casualties in non-military sites, Israel employed a practice often referred to as a “knock on the roof,” in which small projectiles are dropped on rooftops to inform occupants that an airstrike is imminent and give them a chance to evacuate.
A defense official said the targets “have great importance for Hamas, both practically and psychologically.”
“We are planning our next steps, with the understanding that the situation can calm down or flare up rapidly,” the official said.
“The IAF is prepared to act according to the orders we receive. These are surgical and aggressive strikes. When you look at the result, the price exacted [from Hamas] is very high.”
IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis admitted Tuesday that the massive rocket barrage had posed a challenge to the Iron Dome missile-defense system.
Stressing that air defenses cannot provide “hermetic defense,” said Manelis. “The way rockets are fired at certain cities creates a challenge for our air defenses. … The homefront’s defense concept is based not only on Iron Dome, but also on the Homefront Command’s guidelines for civilians.”
He said Iron Dome’s interception rate is nearly 90 percent, and the system is programmed to counter only projectiles likely to hit populated areas.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said Tuesday that the Israeli Navy had destroyed several Hamas vessels “used to carry out maritime terrorist attacks against Israeli forces and civilians.”
Also on Tuesday, the Islamic Jihad revealed on its website the mid-range missile it said it used to hit a house in Ashkelon.
The terrorist group claimed that this was the first time it had used this missile, but offered no other details.