Hamas rocket barrages on southern Israel continued Sunday with almost 300 projectiles launched at Israel since Saturday.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida warned Israel that the terror group would resume firing rocket toward Tel Aviv after the Israeli Air Force struck another high rise building and several other buildings in the Gaza Strip.“The criminal Zionist enemy has intensified its bombing of civilian homes and apartments in the last hours,” he said. “We warn the enemy that if they do not immediately stop bombing civilian homes — we will again bomb Tel Aviv. We will again set it under the range of our rockets.”
Earlier on Monday senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Hasam Abu Harbid was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip as rockets continued to be fired toward southern Israel communities.
The IDF said that Abu-Harbid, who was killed in a joint operation with the Shin Bet intelligence services, commanded over the northern Gaza Strip division of the terror organization since 2019 when his predecessor Baha abu al-Atta was killed in a targeted assassination by the IDF.Abu-Harbid, who was a dominant operative in the group for the past 15 years, was behind the launching of rockets and anti-tank guided missiles that wounded Israeli civilians.
Following his killing, a salvo of rockets was launched at Israeli communities near the border as well as Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malachi and Beersheba. One home sustained a direct hit in Ashdod and three people were lightly wounded.IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters that shortly after the killing of Abu-Harbid, the military targeted a car near the Gaza beach in the northern sector of the Strip with operatives as well as an autonomous submersible naval vessel.“We recognized preparations for a maritime attack,” Zilberman said, adding that the maritime vessel had been brought down to the beach and on its way to carry out “a terror attack in Israeli waters” when it was struck and totally destroyed. Several operatives who had been in the car were killed.The IAF also hit dozens of kilometers of Hamas’s “Metro” underground tunnel network for the third time overnight on Monday. Striking 15 kilometers of what it called the “C” line, the attack “was part of a broad operation by the IDF to significantly damage the underground system of terror organizations in Gaza,” it said.The attack included 54 fighter jets that dropped some 110 precision munitions on 35 targets in 20 minutes.On Friday, the IAF launched strikes against “Phase B” against Hamas’s Metro under the northwestern and central Gaza with tens of planes and some 100 precision munitions.According to the spokesman, Hamas spent tens of millions of dollars on constructing this strategic asset.“Every meter of the tunnel cost around $500, [so] one kilometer costs half a million dollars,” he said. “You can imagine what else they could have spent the money on.” IAF jets also hit nine residences they claim belonged to high ranking Hamas commanders that were used as terror infrastructure and to store weapons. The homes that were hit belonged to the Beit Hanoun battalion commander and of company commanders in Beit Hanoun, the Sabara battalion in Gaza City and the Shati battalion.The IAF also struck military infrastructure used for command and control in the home of a Hamas operative responsible for military intelligence in Shejaiya.The IDF also destroyed a tunnel in southern Gaza, the entrance to which was built near a kindergarten.”This once again proves how Hamas purposely builds its military assets in the heart of civilian populations,” the military said, adding that the “IDF has taken precautions to ensure minimizing damage to civilian population.”As the rockets continued to be launched, the IAF also destroyed the homes of Gaza Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and his brother Muhammed, who is in charge of the logistics and manpower of Hamas, which “serve as significant terror infrastructure,” the IDF said in a statement.The IAF also carried out airstrikes against several other homes, as well as the offices of Hamas Political Bureau’s Planning and Development head Samah Sarag, the residence of the commander of the Hamas Zeitoun Battalion in Gaza City Youssef Abel-Wahab, and the residence of senior Hamas intelligence official Ahmad Abd El Aal. Dozens of weapon factories and storage sites in Tzabrah tel Aloha, Sheik Amodan and Gaza City were struck as well. The military says that those sites were located in the homes of Hamas naval and airborne operatives, anti-tank squads and offensive cyber units.Some 3,150 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel since the beginning of the operation dubbed by the military as “Guardians of the Walls,” of which some 460 fell inside the enclave. The Iron Dome intercepted some 1,150 rockets.Over 130 rockets were fired toward Israel from the enclave from Saturday night to Sunday morning, with roughly half (55 rockets) fired towards central Israel overnight, sending hundreds of thousands to bomb shelters in Tel Aviv and several other cities in the Gush Dan region. Sirens were also activated in the southern cities of Beersheba, West Bank and parts of the Negev.The barrages continued on Sunday and Monday morning, with rockets slamming into buildings in Ashkelon and Ashdod. In Ashkelon, a rocket scored a direct hit on a synagogue, causing extensive damage. Another rocket reportedly landed near a supermarket in Beersheba during the Sunday afternoon barrage.No injuries were reported due to direct hits or shrapnel, although dozens of people were injured while running to bomb shelters.Magen David Adom rescue services said that 10 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the fighting and another 306 have been injured to varying degrees. One soldier has been killed.According to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, 181 people have been killed since the fighting began, including 52 children and 31 women. Another 1200 have been injured.IDF SPOKESPERSON Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman on Sunday deflected criticism of the military’s actions in the Gaza Strip, particularly the bombing of the Al Jala building with media offices on Saturday.“I want to see what would happen if one rocket was fired on Washington. They are firing salvos toward civilian populations,” Zilberman said when asked about the strike on the building that was home to the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera in Gaza. “We are in the middle of an operation. If Hamas and PIJ think they can hide behind the media, their buildings are not something they can hide behind.”The IDF said the building held the offices of Hamas’s military intelligence as well as other offices belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It has refused requests to reveal the evidence upon which it determined that Hamas was using the office building for terrorist activity, although it said that the US was shown the evidence and reportedly accepted it.