Israel announced on Tuesday that they have killed a top Hamas commander in a defensive strike against the terror group who has been launching hundreds of rockets towards the Israeli capitol of Jerusalem.
“We just killed the commander of the Hamas anti-tank missile unit, Iyad Fathi Faik Sharir. He was in charge of carrying out anti-tank missile attacks on Israel. Our aircraft are currently striking additional terror targets in Gaza,” the Israel Defense Force tweeted Tuesday while carrying out attacks in the Gaza Strip.
Israel began its strikes late Monday and continued to hit Palestinian terrorist targets throughout the day Tuesday. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hit more than 130 Hamas military installations, including weapons manufacturing and intelligence sites.
The IDF said in a statement Tuesday:
“Overnight, in response to continuous rocket fire from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory, the IDF struck over 130 terror targets belonging to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip. In the first and second stages of the strikes, IDF fighter jets, attack helicopters and aircraft struck weapons manufacturing sites belonging to the Hamas terror organization. In the third stage, targets belonging to the Hamas terror organization and the Islamic Jihad were struck, including: weapons manufacturing sites and military facilities belonging to the Hamas terror organization and the Islamic Jihad. A Hamas battalion commander was also targeted.
In addition, as part of the strikes over the past day, the IDF struck a military intelligence building belonging to the Hamas terror organization, along with approximately 15 operatives of the organization. Likewise, IDF tanks and aircraft struck additional terror targets, among them: two offensive terror tunnels adjacent to the security fence. The Hamas terror organization deliberately places military targets in the heart of densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. The IDF takes precautions to avoid harming civilians as much as possible during its operational activities.”
Hamas fired a barrage of rockets against Israel on Tuesday in an attempt to overwhelm Israel’s missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome. Most of the Hamas rockets were blown up in the air before they could cause much damage on the ground, but some got through.
In one case, a Hamas rocket hit a school, injuring three Israelis. Authorities had earlier ordered the school evacuated due to the Hamas attacks and its position within 25 miles of the Gaza border.
The Israeli defensive efforts have received serious attention in the United States. Democrats like Rep. Ilhan Omar have accused U.S. Ally Israel of “committing terrorist acts” for responding to the Palestinian attacks.
“Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians,” Omar said. “It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.”
“Many will tell you Israel has a right to defend itself, to safety and security, but are silent on whether Palestinians have those rights too. Until we can defend the rights of Palestinians just as we do Israelis, we have no leg to stand on when it comes to justice or peace,” she added.
It’s worth noting that as mentioned prior, the Israeli Defense Force has been targeting specific terror targets in Gaza rather than simply launching rockets at civilians as Omar is claiming.
Over the weekend, Israel pushed the White House to stay out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, fearing that President Joe Biden’s involvement would make the situation worse.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave brief remarks on Tuesday night about the ongoing Palestinian terrorist attacks, saying that the terror organizations were going to pay a heavy price for the attacks.
“We are in the midst of a major campaign — Operation Guardian of the Walls,” Netanyahu said. “Yesterday and today, the IDF attacked hundreds of Hamas & Islamic Jihad terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. We have eliminated dozens of terrorists, including senior commanders. We have bombed Hamas command centers and toppled buildings that serve the terrorist organizations.”
“We will continue to attack with full force,” he continued. “We have just finished a consultation and assessment of the situation with heads of the security establishment and we made decisions. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have paid — I tell you here — will pay a very heavy price for their aggression. I say here this evening — their blood in on their heads. Citizens of Israel, we stand united against a reprehensible enemy.”
The IDF has also called up thousands of soldiers and has started to move heavy machinery in place for a ground offensive against Hamas.
“Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved the call up of 5,000 reservists on Tuesday as the IDF prepared for a large-scale offensive in the Gaza Strip as rocket attacks against southern Israel continued,” The Jerusalem Post reported. “The IDF struck over 130 targets throughout Gaza overnight Monday as southern Israel was bombarded by over 250 rockets since Monday afternoon, injuring at least 31 Israeli civilians.”
Author: Travis Klein