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IDF strikes four anti-tank missile cells in Gaza as rockets pound Tel Aviv

CM 13/05/2021 3

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The IDF carried out a series of bombing strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Thursday morning, destroying the terror group’s central bank and internal security headquarters, as well as the home of a top Hamas commander.Additionally on Thursday, the IDF struck at least five terrorist cells that were preparing to launch anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM’s) towards Israel within about two hours. Further ATGM cells were hit later in the afternoon.
The IDF said that it destroyed the buildings in a series of airstrikes across Gaza throughout the pre-dawn hours of Thursday. One target was the home of Iyad Tayib, a top Hamas commander who oversaw a number of battalions. The IDF said that the home was being used for terrorist purposes. In addition, the military bombed a building that it said was being used as Hamas’s central bank, as well as a force that the Israeli military said belonged to the terrorist group’s navy unit.

On Thursday afternoon, Abu Ubaida, spokesman of Hamas’s military wing the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, claimed that Hamas has launched “massive rocket strikes” larger than any launched on Israel since the 1948 War for Independence.

Caption: The expansive operation by the IDF to take out weapon warehouses in the Gaza Strip, May 11, 2021.
“The decision to bomb Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Dimona, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba and closer and further than it, is easier for us than drinking water,” added Abu-Ubaida.
The Al-Qassam spokesperson dared Israel to “mobilize whatever forces you want from land, sea and air,” warning that the terrorist group has “prepared for you varieties of death.”
“What distinguishes this battle is the solidarity of our people in all arenas and their unanimity on the option of resistance,” said the Al-Qassam spokesperson adding in a statement addressed to Arab-Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank that “Our weapons are your weapons, our blood is your blood, and our fate is yours.”


On Wednesday, Israel succeeded in striking at Hamas’s top military command, killing a number of its top operatives. The men were killed in a joint IDF-Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operation early Wednesday when the IDF said it carried out a series of targeted killings in Gaza City and Khan Younis, eliminating senior members of Hamas’s General Staff who were considered close to the head of the group’s military wing, Mohammed Deif.
The dead men were identified as Bassem Issa, the head of the Gaza City brigade since 2017, and Jamaa Tahla, head of the group’s cyber network and missile improvement project. According to the Shin Bet, Tahla was the right-hand man of Deif and the central leader of the group’s efforts to improve its military capabilities. 
“Hitting him is a significant blow to Hamas’ capabilities,” the security agency said of Tahla.
Gamal Zabda, the head of the group’s development and projects department, who was the main player in Hamas’s rocket unit, was also killed. According to the Shin Bet, Zabda who held a PhD in mechanical engineering with a specialty in aerodynamics, was a significant source of knowledge for Hamas. Also killed was deputy chief of staff Khazem Khatib, who was head of the engineering department in Hamas’s production division.
Early Thursday morning, the home of Hamas battalion commander Iyad Tayeb was destroyed by IDF forces in continued strikes in the Gaza Strip.
For more on rocket attacks against Israel read here
For more on Israeli strikes on Gaza read here

For more on live rocket attack updates read hereFor more on riots in Israel read here
For more on world reactions to Gaza violence read here
Palestinian media reported that around 83 people had been killed in the IDF strikes, including 17 children, and that more than 487 had been wounded. The Gaza Health Ministry claimed on Wednesday morning that 43% of the casualties were women and children, due to what it claimed were targeted attacks against civilians.

Casualties were reported on Wednesday in Gaza after the IDF targeted a motorcycle near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip and a car near Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.
A number of strikes on apartments and vehicles were reported on Wednesday, causing multiple deaths and injuries. 

Another 13 members of Hamas’ weapons manufacturing staff were also killed. They were named as Zaher a-Shahri, the head of Hamas’ R&D and production project, Mahmoud Fares a mechanics in the group’s R&D and production project, Majad Hadidi, control engineer, Akram Aleta, assistant to Bassem Issa, Hassan Aki and Kamal Krike both active in Hamas’s special units.The IDF struck a 14-story building in southern Gaza on Wednesday evening, claiming that the building housed the Hamas’s military intelligence offices.

In an earlier attack, the IDF eliminated two Hamas intelligence operatives who it said were responsible for rocket barrages into Israel: Hassan Kaogi, the head of Hamas’s military intelligence security wing, as well as his second-in-command, Wail Issa, the head of its intelligence counter-espionage wing.

The IDF also eliminated three additional senior Hamas officials: Gaza Brigade commander Bassam Issa, Khan Younis Brigade commander Rafa Salama and Hamas intelligence chief Mohammed Yazouri. 

On Tuesday, the military killed two top Islamic Jihad terrorists, striking a blow, it said, to the terror group’s rocket infrastructure. It also eliminated the head of the Hamas anti-tank missile unit Tuesday evening in an airstrike.One of the terrorists was identified as Samah Abed al-Mamlouk. The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said that Mamlouk, attacked in a hideout together with a number of additional Islamic Jihad operatives, was in charge of Islamic Jihad’s rocket arsenal. 

In another strike, Hassan Abu al-Ata, deputy commander of Islamic Jihad’s Gaza Brigade, was also killed when the IDF struck an apartment in an eight-story building in Gaza’s Rimal neighborhood. He was the brother of Baha abu Al-Ata who was killed by Israel in 2019. Both brothers were known senior members of Islamic Jihad and were behind many of the group’s rocket attacks against Israel in recent years. Islamic Jihad said that the response to the killings of its operatives would be harsh. 
Earlier Tuesday, Hamas and the IDF expressed opposition to efforts by Egypt to mediate a ceasefire on Monday night and Tuesday, with terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip firing over 1,200 rockets and killing seven Israelis since the violence began on Monday. Several hundred failed rocket launches fell back into the Gaza Strip; Air Defense Artillery combat soldiers intercepted several hundred more. Early Thursday the Israeli Air Force carried out a massive attack in the northern Gaza Strip, during which they destroyed Hamas’ internal security headquarters. Earlier in the night they destroyed the National Bank in the Gaza Strip, as-well as the communication network used by the Hamas military wing.As of Wednesday evening, seven Israelis had been killed in the rocket fire.  
Flames and smoke rise during Israeli air strikes amid a flare-up of Israel-Palestinian violence, in the southern Gaza Strip May 11, 2021. (Credit: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)Flames and smoke rise during Israeli air strikes amid a flare-up of Israel-Palestinian violence, in the southern Gaza Strip May 11, 2021. (Credit: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Source: Jerusalem Post

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