Amid its deadly battle with Hamas, Israel launched a strike in the war of public opinion on Thursday by noting Hamas is a danger to the people it allegedly protects.
The Israel Defence Forces posted a video on Twitter showing what it said was a Hamas misfire that ended up adding to the wreckage of Gaza.
“WATCH as a Hamas rocket aimed at Israel misfires and falls back into Gaza. But this isn’t the 1st time — Hamas misfired 350 rockets in the last 3 days,” the IDF tweeted. “These rockets result in the deaths of innocent Gazan civilians. It’s time for the world to hold Hamas accountable.”
WATCH as a Hamas rocket aimed at Israel misfires and falls back into Gaza.
But this isn’t the 1st time—Hamas misfired 350 rockets in the last 3 days.
These rockets result in the deaths of innocent Gazan civilians.
It’s time for the world to hold Hamas accountable. pic.twitter.com/vmhmXTZrl6
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 13, 2021
The Jewish News Syndicate quoted an Israeli security official as saying 17 residents of Gaza were killed by Hamas misfires during a three-hour span on Thursday.
The IDF tweeted late Thursday that ground troops were moving into Gaza, but none actually entered the Palestinian enclave.
Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces who said ground forces were in Gaza, later cited “an internal communication error” and implied the information was released as a result of a misunderstanding, according to The Times of Israel.
But Israeli media, and some correspondents on the ground, suggested the so-called mistake was in fact a ploy designed to send Hamas terrorists into a network of tunnels below Gaza prior to a planned Israeli operation against them.
#UPDATE: Israel tricked Hamas into thinking the IDF started a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip, causing Hamas fighters to enter the underground tunnel system in Gaza City. Israel then bombarded the tunnels with intense airstrikes. Casualty count unknown.https://t.co/2LPOLCzvYh
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) May 14, 2021
During a massive air assault that began early Friday, shortly after the announcement about ground troops, Israel unleashed a sustained 40-minute bombing attack against Gaza, according to The Jerusalem Post.
During the assault targeting the terrorists’ network of tunnels, 160 aircraft dropped more than 450 missiles against 150 targets.
The target: The Hamas ‘Metro’ tunnel system in Gaza.
The operation: 160 aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry units along the border.
We struck 150 targets and damaged many kilometers of the Hamas ‘Metro’ network. pic.twitter.com/otn7JKxB9c
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 14, 2021
Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman of the IDF called the underground network a “strategic asset” to Hamas.
“This is the largest focused operation against a focused target that we have conducted so far,” Conricus said, according to The New York Times.
The IDF said it attacked the homes of top Hamas leaders, according to The Post.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 115 Palestinians have died in this week’s violence and 600 were injured.
Israel is responding to more than 2,000 rockets and mortars fired at it from the Gaza strip this week.
Despite Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, some rockets have made it through, killing nine Israelis, according to the Times of Israel.
The international community has called for talks to end the violence, but Israeli officials say they have a job to complete first.
“The Americans are talking to me, the Egyptians are talking to me, but I remain focused on the reason we went out on this campaign: to make Hamas and Islamic Jihad pay a price,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, according to The New York Times.
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