IDF Chief of Staff Approves Ground Offensive Plans For Gaza

Israel National News Report Today

By Gil Ronen First Publish 7/9/2014

Hamas ‘extremely frustrated’ by Iron Dome. Hamas rocket scores a direct hit on a home but no one hurt. Dimona targeted.

img516618 Merkava Mark IV tank near Gaza

IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, has approved all of the plans for an IDF ground offensive into Gaza, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz said Wednesday evening. He added that the pressure on Gaza will grow in the coming hours and the IAF attacks will become even more intense.

According to statistics released by the IDF Wednesday, about 300 rockets have been fired at Israel since Operation Protective Edge began two days ago. Seventy-two rockets hit Israel in the course of Wednesday, by about 8:00 p.m.

Two of the rockets were fired at Holon and Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv. One of them was intercepted by Iron Dome and the other struck an empty area. Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the rocket fire on the Tel Aviv area. Three other rockets were fired at Dimona, where Israel operates a nuclear plant. One was intercepted and the other two struck empty spaces.

One rocket scored a direct hit on a home in a “kibbutz” community in the Shaar Hanegev region. There was no one in the home at the time, and no one was hurt.

Hamas is “extremely frustrated” by the success of the Iron Dome system in intercepting most of the rockets that could have caused death and destruction in Israel, according to Channel 2’s veteran Arab affairs expert, Ehud Yaari.

Sirens sounded Wednesday in Binyamina, Habonim, Zihron Yaakov, Bat Shlomo and Or Akiva, near the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa. Two rockets fell in that vicinity – the northernmost point that Hamas has succeeded in hitting since the current operation began.

The IDF has attacked over 160 targets in Gaza since the morning. Over 580 targets have been struck since the operation began. Wednesday saw 31 terror tunnels attacked, as well as 60 buried launchers, and other targets including a weapons storage site. Eleven homes of senior Hamas officers that served as command centers were also hit.

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