For Hamas it may have been one rocket attack too many as the IDF’s Gaza Division has given the order. Ground forces are mobilizing and taking up position near the Gaza border ahead of a possible military action. The navy is moving additional forces off the Gaza Coast. The IDF’s Homefront Command continues to monitor events.
The increasing frequency of rocket attacks appears to have convinced cabinet ministers that something must be done to restore the deterrence to permit southern residents to return to a normal life, one that does not compel being 15 seconds running distance from a shelter.
Some 15 rockets were fired into southern Israel since Wednesday night the eve of 5 Tammuz. There were power outages in Sderot during the night as a result and houses have been damaged. In one case, a rocket pierced a concrete wall and landed in a home that was operating a summer camp for children. B’chasdei Hashem there has not been any loss of life.
Nana News adds that a “minimal call up of IDF reservists” is in progress, quoting a senior officer stating anonymously that the troops are for defensive purposes only, not for an offensive operation.
The Security Cabinet continues sending messages calling for calm to Hamas in an effort to halt rocket fire and eliminate the need for a military operation.
Channel 10’s Ohr Heller quotes PA (Palestinian Authority) sources stating the IAF is striking the Rafiach area of Gaza at this time. There is no confirmation of this from IDF sources.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz held an assessment with senior commanders earlier and it is clear Israel is doing what it can to avoid a military ground forces operation in Gaza at this time. There are still diplomatic efforts involving Egypt to prevent an escalation as well but in reality, Hamas has already drawn the line in the sand with its frequent and continuous rocket fire.
Channel 10 adds Hamas commanders are already deep underground, literally hiding in shelters, realizing there will be a price to pay.
Sirens sounded in Ofakim minutes. There are no immediate reports of injuries.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)