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Israel keeps up pressure on Hamas with non-stop bombings of Gaza

CM 13/05/2021

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IDF strikes against the Gaza Strip continued in the pre-dawn hours of Friday as the military bombed Hamas weapons depots along with other weapons and launching sites. A senior Islamic Jihad anti-tank guided missile commander was also killed, the IDF said, and the Iron Dome downed another drone in the South of Israel.Over 1,000 bombs and shells were fired into Gaza in what IDF sources said was the largest and most aggressive bombardment of Hamas since the 2014 Gaza War, also known as Operation Protective Edge. The attack came as fresh rocket barrages were fired into central and southern Israel throughout the night. Tanks and artillery deployed along the border, alongside over 160 aerial sorties, participated in the assault, aimed at placing pressure on Hamas. Diplomatic officials are aware that pressure is mounting on Israel and time is limited to achieve its goals. The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to convene early next week. One of the primary targets for the IDF in the early Friday assault was Hamas’s ‘”metro”, kilometers of tunnels in northern Gaza used by the terrorist group to launch attacks against Israel and to move weapons throughout its different strongholds. Over 160 fighter planes from Israel’s air force hit 150 targets in Gaza’s northern underground infrastructure overnight on Thursday, aiming to heavily damage Hamas underground tunnels, which are a strategic asset to terrorist groups, the IDF reported. Many miles of tunnel infrastructure were destroyed. 

The Israeli military has struck over 700 Hamas targets since Operation Guardians of the Walls began on Monday, including senior commanders and attack drones launched by the terror group.In the first four days of Operation Guardians of the Walls, an operation which is 95% airstrikes, over 700 Hamas targets have been hit by the Israeli Air Force and 60 operatives including senior commanders have been killed. According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 103 Gazans were killed on Thursday, and 580 were injured.The opening strikes by the IAF included key Hamas infrastructure which according to the military will affect the terror group for years to come.Palestinian families have been fleeing from the northern Gaza Strip following IDF strikes, Israeli media reported, citing Palestinian media sources.On Thursday morning the IDF bombed government targets, Hamas’s central bank, a force that the Israeli military said belonged to the terror group’s navy unit as well the home of Iyad Tayeb, a top Hamas commander who oversaw a number of battalions. The IDF said that the home was being used for terrorist purposes.“The organization is losing everything,” IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters on Thursday morning.“Tonight we started destroying government targets in the Gaza Strip, such as central banks and internal security buildings. Hamas is beginning to discover cracks and there is pressure in the organization, even among the Gaza public who is losing its patience and sees these ruins on the eve of the [Eid al-Fitr] holiday,” he said.

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
Among targets belonging to Hamas that have been struck since the beginning of Operation Guardian of the Walls, include facilities belonging to their police, Interior Security Ministry and banks as well as homes of commanders including that of the battalion commander of Khan Yunis and the office of Hamas’ head of public security in Rafiah, as well as a naval commando unit and defensive tunnel inside a school.The IDF also attacked Hamas’ cyber units in Gaza City, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said Thursday night.Four high-rise buildings were also destroyed by Israel Air Force airstrikes as well as the “operational apartment” of the head of Hamas’s drone unit Samer Abu Daka. The IDF said that the apartment was used for military purposes and had been targeted during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.Another four “operational apartments” used to direct recent rocket attacks towards Israeli cities and belonging to senior Hamas commanders in Gaza were also hit. The apartments belonged to the deputy commander of Hamas’s Jabalya regiment in the northern Strip, as well as three company commanders in northern and central Gaza.A Hamas intelligence facility that served as the main command center for the group’s surveillance network with dozens of operatives inside was also hit by an IAF airstrike on Thursday afternoon.
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)

Some seven anti-tank guided missile cells were taken out by the IDF on Thursday alone.Since the fighting began, the Israeli Air Force has also destroyed several Hamas drones, some laden with explosives, that crossed into Israel.The drones were downed by the IAF using F-16 fighter jets, Python-5 missile and Iron Dome missile batteries before crossing into Israel while others exploded in the air.Several drones have been launched by Hamas since the fighting began and in one video released by the military on Thursday, an F-16 fighter jet can be seen downing a suicide drone which carried about 5 kg. of explosive payload.The military believes that though the drones are assembled in Gaza, many of the components are smuggled into the blockaded coastal enclave.The IDF sees the operation continuing in order to strike additional targets that are key to Hamas’s military strength.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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