Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has called up thousands of soldiers amid the massive recent string of Palestinian terrorist attacks from Hamas and has started to move heavy machinery in place for a ground offensive in response to the more than 300 rockets that were fired at Israel from Gaza.
“Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved the call up of 5,000 reservists on Tuesday as the IDF prepared for a large-scale offensive in the Gaza Strip as rocket attacks against southern Israel continued,” The Jerusalem Post reported. “The IDF struck over 130 targets throughout Gaza overnight Monday as southern Israel was bombarded by over 250 rockets since Monday afternoon, injuring at least 31 Israeli civilians.”
Anna Ahronheim, Military & Defense Correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, tweeted out a photograph of Israel moving a Merkava 4 tank to the front lines, writing: “The buildup of troops and machinery is clear in the south. Talking to troops and the feeling is that the IDF has to hit Gaza hard.”
The buildup of troops and machinery is clear in the south. Taking to troops and the feeling is that the IDF has to hit Gaza hard. pic.twitter.com/JeYdO0yk4s
— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) May 11, 2021
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) May 11, 2021
In a subsequent tweet, Ahronheim said that Israeli soldiers that she spoke to said they did not want to have to enter Gaza, but if they were called to do so they would. The IDF told the publication that it would “act resolutely to restore security” and that “all commands must prepare for the expansion of the campaign, with no time limit.”
Israel’s Iron Dome successfully shot down more than 90% of the rockets fired into Israel from terrorists, but some did manage to evade the defense system and struck civilian targets, wounding a few dozen based on initial reports. IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said that about a third of the rockets fired from inside Gaza ended up landing inside Gaza.
The IDF released the following statement about their military operations against the terrorists:
Overnight, in response to continuous rocket fire from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory, the IDF struck over 130 terror targets belonging to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip. In the first and second stages of the strikes, IDF fighter jets, attack helicopters and aircraft struck weapons manufacturing sites belonging to the Hamas terror organization. In the third stage, targets belonging to the Hamas terror organization and the Islamic Jihad were struck, including: weapons manufacturing sites and military facilities belonging to the Hamas terror organization and the Islamic Jihad. A Hamas battalion commander was also targeted.
In addition, as part of the strikes over the past day, the IDF struck a military intelligence building belonging to the Hamas terror organization, along with approximately 15 operatives of the organization. Likewise, IDF tanks and aircraft struck additional terror targets, among them: two offensive terror tunnels adjacent to the security fence. The Hamas terror organization deliberately places military targets in the heart of densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip. The IDF takes precautions to avoid harming civilians as much as possible during its operational activities.