A screenshot from an IDF video of the IAF strikes in Gaza July 13 2018 .
(photo credit: IDF SCREENSHOT)
The Israel Air Force carried out air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday. According to an air force officer, they were “completely different than we’ve done in the past.”
Israel struck over 150 targets belonging to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups in the coastal enclave overnight. Targets included an intelligence compound, which was said to be located in the heart of the city next to a school, a mosque, diplomatic offices and a kindergarten which was acting as a munitions warehouse.
The senior Air Force officer told reporters that the strikes were “significant” in terms of the tactical challenges they posed.
“The number of targets and their significance have increased compared to the past,” he said, explaining that the “targets were important both in a practical and moral [sense] as some of the targets included buildings with several stories in the middle of Gaza City. The challenge of buildings like these, [such as] their height and the fact that they are in the middle of an urban area [present] a major tactical challenge.”
Compared to Operation Protective Edge which saw the Air Force strike similar buildings, three of the four high rise buildings were hit in the span of two and a half hours. There were no civilian casualties.
“We’ve learned how to strike these targets which are in the heart of residential neighborhoods and destroy them without killing anyone. We uphold our values, we’re not fighting against civilians,” he said. “We made sure that the buildings and their surroundings had been evacuated. It’s dramatic and significant and fundamentally different from the past. But the pressure on the enemy is great. When the enemy wakes up in the morning and sees what has been hit, he realizes he is paying a big price,” the officer said.
One of the other targets leveled by IAF jets was the multi-story al-Aqsa TV headquarters in Gaza City. IAF jets first fired a warning shot at the building, allowing people to evacuate to a safe distance. Following the warning shot, the jets fired multiple missiles, completely destroying the building.
“This is an attack on a central government property for Hamas, which was conducted as part of additional attacks that the IDF carried out and as a response to the terror attack that the Hamas terror group is leading against Israeli citizens,” the IDF said.
Israeli aircraft also struck several cells launching rockets, and Palestinians who tried to breach the security fence and enter Israel.
According to the IDF officer, cells launching rockets had been struck almost immediately. “We don’t want to play a game of rocket ping pong,” he added, explaining that tens of fighter planes and attack helicopters were taking part in strikes against targets.
“Our planes are armed and above Gaza. We are prepared for any scenario,” he said.
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