BCN editor’s note: please contact the author for reprint permission.
Over 72 rockets have been fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip Wednesday, 8 of the 40 confirmed intercepted by the Iron Dome. Majority of the rockets targeted areas around Gaza, however rockets were also fired as far north as Zichron Yaakov and Tel Aviv. Islamic Jihad took responsibility for rockets fired into Israel on Wednesday afternoon, Hamas taking responsibility for rockets fired into southern Israel.
Over fire rockets were fired at Tel Aviv, one of the rockets intercepted close to Ben Gurion Airport.
Over 117 rockets were fired into Israel on Tuesday, reaching as far as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Over 230 rockets have been fired into Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. Over 53 were intercepted by the Iron Dome.
The IDF hit over 160 targets overnight on Tuesday into Wednesday killing Hafiz Hamad, a senior Islamic Jihad operative. Palestinian media reports he was killed along with five family members.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated following a meeting with the Shin Bet that Israel intends to continue its operation despite international pressure and pressure from Mahmoud Abbas to broker a ceasefire through Egypt. He stated, “The campaign against Hamas will expand in the coming days, and the prices the organization will pay will be very heavy. We are continuing with attacks that are extracting a heavy price from Hamas. We are destroying weapons, terror infrastructure, command and control systems, Hamas institutions, administration buildings, and terrorists’ homes, and are killing terrorists in various command positions.”
Egypt responded to reports of possible mediation through Egypt, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty stating, “There is no mediation, in the common sense of the word. Egyptian diplomatic efforts are aimed at immediately stopping Israeli aggression and ending all mutual violence. Egyptian contacts have not yet achieved a result.”
Following a meeting on security with the Defense Minister, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and the IDF’s Southern Command Chief Sami Turgeman, he instructed that Operation Protective Edge would “intensify even further” stating, “Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing at Israeli citizens. The security of Israel’s citizens is first and foremost. Our army is strong, the home front firm and our nation united. This combination is our response to the terrorist organizations that seek to hurt us. We are all united in the mission to hit the terrorists and restore calm. The operation will expand and continue until the rocket fire on our cities stops and quiet returns.”
The south of Israel has received increased public finding of over $4.3 million in public funding, the decision by Israel’s finance minister and interior minister. The funds will be used for medical services and equipment.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the operation “genocide” Wednesday afternoon, stating, “It’s genocide, the killing of entire families is genocide by Israel against our Palestinian people.”
Palestinian media claims over 38 have been killed in Israeli Air Force airstrikes.
Jordan, which is at peace with Israel, referred to Israel’s actions as “barbaric” a spokesman for the government stating, “Jordan “condemns the military aggression that Israel has launched in the Gaza Strip and calls for its immediate halt. Jordan demands Israel stop all forms of escalation. The international community should actively intervene to stop the Israeli aggression. The Israeli actions violate international laws and obstruct peace efforts in the region.”
Nabil al-Arabi, the Secretary General of the Arab League has called for an emergency meeting with the UN Security Council.
Amir Tsarfati is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.