IAF officer: Recent missions focused on striking Hamas leaders, mitigating Gaza mortar attacks

Senior air force source stresses that "the net will close in on more and more Hamas figures if combat continues."

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August 24, 2014 20:01
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A senior air force officer said the majority of missions in recent days have focused on striking Hamas leaders and mitigating mortar attacks on southern Israel.

The source said pilots, air defense units, ground and maintenance crews have been working "for 49 days non-stop. They are planning, carrying out command and control, intelligence collection, and maintenance [of the air craft]."

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The IAF has been pursuing senior Hamas leaders, and the source said "the net will close in on more and more Hamas figures if combat continues."

Referring to Hamas's large-scale mortar attack on villages bordering Gaza over recent days, the source said the IAF is working with the IDF Gaza Division and Southern Command to decrease the fire and provide more advance siren alerts to local residents.

"Hamas is firing directly from medical centers, schools, and densely populated neighborhoods. We are operating where we can without harming non-combatants. We have been targeting areas that fire mortars more aggressively over the past two days. This involves increased surveillance and attacks," the source said.

Additionally, the IAF is working to install more sensors in the border region to enhance mortar alerts, adding that "every second can save a life."

Hamas has fired shoulder-held anti-aircraft at the IAF, the source said, though defensive actions by pilots thwarted the attacks. "We were surprised by the high quality" of the anti-aircraft missiles, the source said.



Hamas has some remaining drones in its arsenal, and the IAF is on high alert for a potential drone attack. "Hamas is seeking an achievement and can surprise us. We are guarding the skies and dealing with this," the source said.

On a daily basis, the IAF is bombing dozens of terrorist infrastructure, the source stated, adding that new targets were being added to the list in the course of combat.

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