Israel to continue air campaign while preparing for ground invasion of Gaza, IDF says

Army said that it had struck 60 terror targets in the Hamas-ruled enclave.

An iron dome launches rockets to intercept incoming rockets from Gaza on Tuesday. (photo credit: REUTERS)
An iron dome launches rockets to intercept incoming rockets from Gaza on Tuesday.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s air force will continue to pound targets in the Gaza Strip over the course of at least the next 24 hours, the IDF Spokesperson said on Saturday.
Brig.-Gen. Moti Almoz told Israel Radio on Saturday that there were still “many” targets in the Gaza Strip remaining. While air force sorties will continue, the army high command is simultaneously preparing for a ground incursion.
Almoz told Israel Radio that Hamas is “growing increasingly frustrated over its inability to exact casualties among Israeli civilians.” He said that the army was diligently working to avoid civilian casualties among the Palestinian population in Gaza.
Palestinian officials in the Gaza Strip said at least nine people, including two physically disabled people, were killed overnight Friday during Israeli airstrikes as Operation Protective Edge entered its fifth day.
Gaza medical officials said at least 76 civilians, including 24 children, were among 115 people killed so far in the aerial bombardments.
Health officials in Gaza reported that three people were killed in an IAF strike Saturday morning in the eastern section of Gaza City, according to Israel Radio. Before dawn Saturday, 13 Palestinians were killed in IDF strikes in Gaza, officials said.
Since the latest outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, at least 121 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed and over 900 have been wounded, according to Israel Radio.
The IDF said that it had struck 60 terror targets in the Hamas-ruled enclave. Since the operation began, Israeli aircraft have hit over 1,160 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, the military said.
Israel Navy gunboats also struck Hamas targets, including a lookout point as well as a meeting point used by operatives of Hamas as well as the Popular Resistance Committees.
“Among the targets that were struck since the beginning of the operation were dozens of operational infrastructure sites belonging to senior officials from the Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations who took part in carrying out many attacks and projectile fire at Israeli territory,” the army said in a communique.
An operations center housed in the Al-Faruk mosque in central Gaza, which was used to store rockets and other weapons, was struck by the IDF early on Saturday.
Ten terrorist operatives were killed in air strikes, including six involved in rocket fire on Israel, the IDF said. A launcher in south Gaza used to fire on Beersheba overnight was also destroyed.
Since Monday night, dozens of operational infrastructure sites used by senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad members have been destroyed, the IDF said.
Infrastructure used by senior Hamas member Atia Abu Nakira in south Gaza was destroyed, as well as a home used as an operations center by senior Islamic Jihad member Jihad Ghanam.
Abu Nakira has taken part in a long line of terror attacks on Israel, the IDF, including rocket attacks, tunnel bombs, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile fire at Israeli territory. Jihad Ghanam also took part in a long line of attacks, the IDF said, including large-scale rocket attacks on Israeli territory, targeting greater Tel Aviv. Homes used as operations centers by two Hamas members, Tisir Mebasher and Mahdi Kura'a were also destroyed overnight.