IAF strikes over 1500 terror targets in Gaza

Fire from IAF, Gazan terrorists tentatively held following truce; Gaza officials say more than 140 people killed in operation.

November 21, 2012 21:42
3 minute read.
Smoke rises after IAF strike in Gaza

Gaza on Fire 20 Nov 390. (photo credit: Mohammed Salem / Reuters)


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The IAF on Wednesday continued its air campaign on Gaza, striking 120 terror targets struck in the Strip prior to the announcement of an Egyptian-US brokered cease-fire.

Following the announcement, fire from both the IDF and terrorists in Gaza appears to have been held.

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Palestinian sources reported one civilian killed in a drone strike in eastern Jabaliya. The IAF also struck a rocket-launching crew consisting of three Hamas members, as well as multiple Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror cells, according to the IDF Spokesman's Office.

"Gaza has become a froward Iranian base which places Israeli citizens under unbearable rocket fire," the IDF statement read. "The IDF is determined to continue to attack targets which are bases of terror against Israeli civilians."

Overnight Tuesday, IAF airstrikes and naval attacks hit around 100 targets throughout Gaza.

A senior Hamas operative responsible for aerial defense operations was targeted, as well as several other terrorist squads, according to IDF spokespersons.

Targets included smuggling tunnels, military communication centers, a police compound, rocket launching sites, three weapons depots and a weapons manufacturing site.

The IAF also targeted the Ministry of Internal Security in Gaza, which the IDF stated served as one of Hamas's main command and control centers.

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Reports stated one strike on Tuesday night hit an eight-storey media building housing the AFP's Gaza office. The IDF confirmed a pinpoint strike in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City.

Reuters quoted medical officials in Gaza as saying 31 Palestinians were killed on Tuesday. Gaza medical officials say more than 140 people have died in Israeli strikes overall, mostly civilians, including 34 children.

Earlier on Tuesday, two cameramen working for al-Aqsa TV and an educational programming director for the al-Quds channel, both affiliated with Gaza's Hamas government, were killed by IAF strikes on their cars.

Their deaths have sparked outrage among Gaza's press corps and also from Hamas, which accused Israel of trying to suppress coverage of Israeli attacks in the coastal enclave.

A tower block housing many of Gaza's local and international media offices has twice been bombed by Israeli planes in recent days, in attacks Israel said targeted the communications infrastructure and personnel of terrorist groups.

Before that, the IAF struck the Salafi Jihadi Army of Islam group in southern Gaza, striking two vehicles carrying the organization’s leadership. The Army of Islam took part in the cross-border kidnapping of IDF tank gunner Gilad Schalit in June 2006.

An air strike killed Islamic Jihad member Yuni Shaluf, who was responsible for firing rockets on Eilat earlier this year. The IAF also struck the home of Azi Abudma, a regional Hamas commander.

Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, the air force has hit more than 1,500 terrorist targets.

The IDF dropped leaflets Tuesday on the northern and eastern Gaza Strip instructing civilians to leave for central Gaza at once.

“For your safety, you are requested to evacuate your homes immediately and head toward central Gaza City via the following roads,” one leaflet said, going on to outline routes for civilians.

Ben Hartman and Reuters contributed to this report.

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