The Israel Defense Forces continued to devastate Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip on Thursday night and into Friday morning in retaliation for the more than 2,000 rockets that have been fired at Israel since Monday.
The rockets fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have killed at least seven Israeli citizens and wounded hundreds more. They have also hit schools, hospitals, citizens’ homes, and a bus. In response to the attacks, the IDF has launched over 650 strikes on terrorist targets in Gaza — including rocket launching sites, terrorist facilities, and underground tunnels — that are estimated to have killed more than 100 Palestinian terrorists.
“In a 40-minute long air campaign which began around midnight, some 160 aircraft dropped over 450 missiles on 150 targets belonging to a network of tunnels dug by the terror group known as ‘the Metro’ under Gaza city,” the Jerusalem Post reported. “Israeli tanks, artillery cannons, and troops from the Golani brigade stationed along the border also carried out barrages towards Hamas targets when they came out to attack Israeli targets. A total of some 500 artillery shells and another 50 tank shells were used.”
The strikes come after Israel reportedly turned down calls for a ceasefire after Hamas suffered devastating hits to their military infrastructure.
The Gaza Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, has claimed that 109 Palestinians have been killed, including more than two dozen minors, and hundreds more wounded. Those numbers have been met with scrutiny due to Hamas being a terrorist organization and therefore not credible.
“Of the 1,750+ rockets that they have fired since Monday, 300 misfired and exploded inside Gaza, killing and injuring innocent Gazans in the vicinity,” the IDF said in a statement. “This is because Hamas and Islamic Jihad deliberately place rocket launchers and military sites within densely populated civilian areas in the Gaza Strip. In addition, when the IDF warns Gazan civilians to evacuate, Hamas and Islamic Jihad encourage civilians to stay instead.”
Israel has received international support in their fight against Palestinian terrorism, with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz raising an Israeli flag on the roof of the Federal Chancellery and posting a statement on Twitter saying that the nation stands by Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by writing on Twitter: “Thank you Chancellor @sebastianjurz and the people of Austria for standing with Israel.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned extremists in her country that antisemitic demonstrations will not be tolerated after fringe groups burned Israeli flags outside synagogues and shouted hate slogans against Jews.
“Anyone who attacks a synagogue or defiles Jewish symbols shows that for them it is not about criticizing a state or the policies of a government, but about aggression and hate towards a religion and the people who belong to it,” Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said, adding that “our democracy will not tolerate antisemitic demonstrations.”