IDF aircraft strike 150 targets overnight

Israel strikes Hamas' “Metro tunnel system,” an integral part of its terror infrastructure. 


With around 160 aircraft striking 150 targets, Israel’s military has just completed an intense night-long campaign, hitting the heart of Hamas’ network of underground tunnels.

The IDF said in an announcement that it had struck the terror group’s “Metro tunnel system,” which is an integral part of its militant infrastructure. 

The campaign came after days of rocket fire from Israel to Gaza, and as militants launched 190 rockets from the coastal enclave during the course of the night. They were aimed at southern and central Israel, and some which were — unsuccessfully — directed towards Ben Gurion Airport. Many, but not all, were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system, 

No Israelis were killed by rocket fire overnight, but an 87-year-old woman died as she fell, trying to run to a bomb shelter near the border as sirens sounded. Another woman, who had such a fall in similar circumstances Tuesday, died this morning, meaning that counting these women, nine people have now died in Israel as a result of the Hamas-Israel violence. 

There are numerous reports of injuries from last night’s rockets, including an Ashkelon man in his late 50s who was critically hurt by shrapnel, and a man aged 90. 

The military said that its campaign was a success. “During the strike, the purpose of which was to severely damage the strategically important underground tunnels belonging to Hamas, many kilometres of the tunnel network were destroyed,” it announced. 

“Throughout the night, approximately 160 IDF aircraft from 12 squadrons struck over 150 underground targets in the northern Gaza Strip,” the military announced. Meanwhile, ground forces, artillery and armored troops on the Israeli side of the border fired hundreds of artillery shells and dozens of tank shells. The death toll in Gaza has risen to 115 according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. 

The northern border has been quiet during the current conflict, tough last night three rockets were launched towards Israel from Lebanon, apparently launched by a fringe Palestinian group. They landed in the sea and caused no damage.

Rioting in Israeli cities overnight resulted in flames, arrests and injuries. Arab protestors gathered in many areas, and groups of right-wing Jews also assembled. In Beersheba, southern Israel, Arab protestors wounded a young Jewish girl when they threw a stone at a car, and in Lod, a synagogue was set ablaze. In Umm al-Fahm, Israel’s largest Jewish city, police had to rescue a Jewish family, when their car was attacked by locals. 

In  Lod alone, more than 40 people were arrested. As the city struggled to manage clashes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the local police headquarters, and said that officers have his backing to use a lot of force, suggesting they do not need to worry about being criticized by the government or subject to investigations afterwards. 

“I cannot tell you that we are not facing escalation,” he said. “The intelligence that we have says that it could very well be that we will have an upsurge of violence here in the coming days. It could be that blows will be exchanged here. It is always like this, in putting down rioters one needs to use force, a lot of force.”  

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