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Friday Recap Of IDF Operation In Gaza

hp.jpgAt the start of Shabbos, Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip had already launched 30+ rockets at Southern Eretz Yisroel on Friday afternoon. Although a few rockets scored direct hits on apartment buildings causing extensive damage, Bichasdei Hashem only three people were wounded – all with minor injuries.

Meanwhile, there was no sign of respite in IAF air raids on the seventh day of Operation Cast Lead on Friday, as aircraft relentlessy pounded the Gaza homes of more than a dozen Hamas terror terrorists – just one day after one of the terror group’s top five leaders, Sheikh Nizar Rayyan, was killed in a northern Gaza air strike.

In the latest strike, The IAF hit the house of top Hamas terrorist Imad Akel on Friday afternoon.

It was unclear if Akel was home at the time, but secondary blasts were heard, indicating the presence of weapons and explosives in the home, the IDF said.

It was also reported that another of the houses struck belonged to former Hamas refugee minister Atef Adwan.

Additionally, IAF warplanes planes, in coordination with the Shin Bet, bombed the home of senior Hamas terrorist Mohammed Matouk. The IDF said that Matouk’s home was being used by militants as a weapons storehouse and factory, and that a smuggling tunnel had been dug underneath the building.

Meanwhile, Israeli defense officials said that prior to the air strikes, the IDF either warned nearby residents by phone or fired a warning missile to reduce civilian casualties. IAF aircraft also dropped leaflets east of Gaza giving a confidential phone number and e-mail address for people to report locations of rocket squads. Residents appeared to ignore the leaflets, stepping over them as they passed by.

Yesterday’s assassination of senior Hamas leader Nizar Ghayan left dozens of people from neighboring buildings injured. The IAF had reportedly dropped a 2,000 pound bomb on his Gaza home. The strike brought up the body count on the Palestinian side to 425 people since the start of the campaign. The number of wounded is now estimated at around 2,000.

An IDF Spokesman said that Ghayan’s house had served as a weapons silo and a war room for Hamas. Under the house was a tunnel which was meant to serve as an escape route in case of an Israeli attack.

The IDF has code named such operations “roof knocking,” in which the army informs the residents of s suspected building that they have 10 minutes to leave the premises. In some cases, residents of suspected houses have been able to prevent bombing by climbing up to the roof to show that they will not leave, prompting IDF commanders to call off the strike. In these cases, Channel 10 reported Thursday, the IAF sometimes launches a relatively harmless missile at the corner of the roof, avoiding casualties but successfully dispersing the crowd.

Sources familiar with Ghayan’s record said he was one of the people who encouraged Gazans to climb on rooftops to prevent bombings.

It appears that the “roof knocking” technique was used in the assassination, but Ghayan decided to stay indoors with his family, and the army opted to bomb the house anyway.

A lecturer at Gaza’s Islamic University, Ghayan, 49, had mentored suicide bombers and would sometimes go on patrol with Hamas fighters. He was known for donning combat fatigues and personally participating in clashes against Israeli forces. He sent one of his sons on an October 2001 suicide mission that killed two Israeli settlers in Gaza.

He was also an outspoken advocate of renewing suicide bombings against Israel. Hamas said Israel would pay a “heavy price” for his death. Ghayan was one of the most extreme opponents of Fatah, and supported violence against Fatah’s men during Hamas’ seizure of power.


Across the globe, people are protesting the IDF operation with widespread protests in the Middle East.

The Iranian Foreign Minister warned Israel that entering Gaza “by land will be the biggest mistake of the Zionist regime.” He vowed Israel would be “defeated” in a ground attack.

Iran is a major backer of Hamas, giving it millions of dollars. Israel and the US accuse Iran of providing Hamas with newer, more sophisticated rockets, but Tehran denies arming the group. In his prayer sermon, the Iranian Foreign Minister said Hamas had a new anti-tank weapon that it had not used before but would unleash if Israel ground troops move in, but he did not elaborate.

US-allied Arab governments like Egypt fear that Hamas and Hizbullah are giving a foothold for Iran. They have been critical of Hamas – which took over Gaza in 2007 in battles with loyalists of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – and of Syria for backing its allies Iran and Hamas.

Pro-US governments have been wary about protests at home over Israel’s Gaza assault, which has killed more than 400 Palestinians and sparked outrage among the Arab public. Israel says its offensive aims at silencing Hamas rockets.

In Jordan, police fired volleys of tear gas and scuffled with dozens of protesters who tried to push through barrier to reach the Israeli Embassy in Amman. A few of the protesters threw stones at police, but the security forces dispersed the group, arresting several.

Hundreds more protesters marched peacefully nearby the embassy, calling for its closure and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador. Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries with peace agreements and diplomatic relations with Israel.

Egypt clamped down hard to prevent protests Friday. Hundreds of riot police surrounded Cairo’s main Al-Azhar Mosque, where a rally had been called, and scuffled with would-be protesters, keeping most from approaching.

More than 3,000 people marched in solidarity with Gaza in the northern Sinai city of el-Arish, Egypt’s closest city to Gaza. On the border, dozens of Sinai Beduins raced around in cars in the town of Rafah, firing their guns into the air.

In Syria, some 2,000 marched in Damascus’ Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, carrying Palestinian flags and chanting “jihad will unite us,” and later burned an Israeli flag.

Several hundred Syrians also protested in Damascus’ historic Ummayad Mosque, waving green Hamas banners and wearing Hamas headbands.

In Sudan, thousands marched in downtown Khartoum from mosques to the main Martyrs Square, urging Muslims to jihad and denouncing Israel and America.

(YWN Israel Desk)

8 Responses

  1. We have to keep praying ! Its very scary being that they have so many tunnels who knows how many iaf will get hurt if they do a “ground strike”

  2. You can’t win a war if you keep telling the enemy in advance where you are going to bomb!

    They lost in Lebanon because of this and will lose in Gaza too.

  3. How are they not learning that no matter what they do to protect those animals it anyway will not help them to find sympathies in the world’s eyes?
    They have to go in there and bombed them out with as many people as possible to kill, this is the only languish these animals understand.
    And we must keep davening to Hashem to protect as all.

  4. Look at the miracles that are happening in EY. G-d’s kindness and protection is phenomenal. Our hearts should be filled with gratitude and humility.

  5. Nochamol:

    May I suggest that if you don’t have anything positive to wish on your brothers in Eretz Yisroel, that you don’t say ANYTHING?

    It is better to remain quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Yehi shalom B’chaylach, Shalva B’Armenosayich.
    Good Shabbos to Acheinu Col Bais Yiroel…
    Wherever they are.

  6. why does israel relent to roof knocking if they relent even once after a warning they become morally responsible to do so every time becuase the victims are assuming they wont bomb if they bomb every time any one on that roof is committing suicide

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