fter a three-hour meeting of the Israeli Security Cabinet late on Monday, Israeli occupation forces launched what it is calling “Operation Protective Edge” against the besieged Gaza Strip.
Overnight, Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes against the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation army reportedly said that the strikes targeted Hamas facilities.
Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth quoted an Israeli security source as saying the military operation in Gaza is targeting Hamas in order to stop the “terror Israel’s citizens face on a daily basis”.
However, since the start of the operation, at least seven residential civilian houses along the Strip have been attacked by Israeli F16s and destroyed.
Palestinian medical sources reported that at least 17 civilians sustained light to moderate injuries, including a seven-year-old child. One medical source noted that hospitals in Gaza are working with half capacity because of shortages of fuel, electricity, medicines and medical equipment.
The Times of Israel reported the spokesperson of the Israeli occupation forces, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, as saying the military had called up 1,500 reserves troops, mostly from the Home Front Command, as well as Iron Dome air defence crews.
Lerner added that they also deployed two additional conscripted infantry brigades, Paratroops and Givati, to the border with Gaza on Monday.
The Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas said on Monday that it launches its homemade rockets towards Israel as an act of “self-defence”, responding to Israeli “crimes” against Palestinians.
“Launching rockets comes as an act of self-defence and as a response to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians,” Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri affirmed. He warned that Hamas would fire more rockets if Israel F16s continued to attack civilians.
Another spokesperson for Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum, pointed out that it was Israel that started the offensive. “Israel continues its siege of Gaza, closes crossings, rearrests freed prisoners, adopts a policy of treachery and systematic killing,” he said.
He added: “Hamas is a resistance movement and believes in resistance as a means to defend itself and its people.”
Tuesday 5th July 2014, Middle East Monitor,