Gaza rockets cut off Palestinian power supply

Crisis leads Bennett to pull out of prospective new government


Terrorists in Gaza have left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians without electricity, by shooting rockets in to power lines, the IDF revealed today. 

There are 10 power lines delivering electricity from Israel to Gaza, and rockets have cut three of them, said senior soldier Elad Goren in a briefing to journalists. “The rockets destroyed them on the Israeli side,” he said. 

The revelation came on a day of call-ups for thousands of Israeli reservists, of 160 rockets since early morning, and a drone with a large explosive payload, which the IDF downed. There has been heavy pounding of Gaza terror locations by the Israeli Air Force. Targets included a Hamas intelligence center, where operatives from the organization were working. 

The violence, which has killed seven Israelis, is shaking up the country’s political system. Just a few days ago, the right-wing Naftali Bennett of Yamina was expected to form a government with others from across the Israeli political spectrum, and with the support of the Arab faction Raam. 

Hebrew media sources are reporting tonight that Mr Bennett has concluded that such a government could not face the current challenges, especially the Jewish-Arab clashes within Israel, and is set to scupper efforts to form a so-called “change” coalition.

In the current confrontation, rockets are traveling further than ever inside Israel, with one reaching near Eilat, around 150 miles from its launch point It was apparently aimed at the second-largest Israeli airport, where incoming passenger flights have been rerouted for security reasons. 

Hamas is claiming it now has rockets that can hit any place in Israel. Rockets are also inflicting damage in ways that were thought highly unlikely in the past. 

Shrapnel penetrated the reinforced windows of a safe room to kill Israel’s five-year-old victim in Sderot yesterday. And today, a rocket crashed through the roof of a nursery school in southern Israel, which had been reinforced to sustain hits. The building was empty. 

Hamas is boasting about its strikes and its arsenal. “Our weapons and our preparation over many years are [poised] for the victory of our land, our people, and our sacred places,” said Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the group’s al-Qassam Brigades. 

But Israel insists that it will overcome Hamas — and do so with the smallest possible cost to Gaza’s civilians. The death count in Gaza stands at 87, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, but Colonel Goren insisted that major efforts are underway to avoid harming Gaza’s non-combatants, and competed: “We are trying to do everything in our power and all out resources  are focussed on this. However, he said it is proving hard as Hamas is fighting from civilian areas. 

It was an emotional day in a southern Israeli hospital, where Assaf Avigail, father of Ido, the five-year-old killed yesterday, is recovering from his own wounds. President Reuven Rivlin visited, and told him: “I am here today on my own, as it were, but believe me that the support of the whole people is with you.” 

It looks set to be another night of violence involving Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel, with clashes, which normally heat up late at night. A journalist was injured by right-wing Jewish demonstrators in Tel Aviv, and a soldier and paramedic were badly hurt by Arab protesters in Jaffa. 

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