Israel

Three Killed as IDF Responds to Escalating Attacks from Gaza

After coming under attack from Gaza, the IDF struck at a number of Hamas positions killing three terrorists, The Times of Israel reported Friday.

Clashes have been reported along Israel’s border with Gaza, with Palestinians firing mortar shells, and throwing other explosives at the IDF. The IDF has been returning fire.

The latest escalation along the border between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza comes in wake of meeting among top Israeli security and defense officials to discuss the threat coming from Hamas, the terrorist group that exercises complete political and control over the Gaza Strip, following the sounding of several warning sirens in southern Israel.

Those officials at the meeting included Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, the heads of Israel’s southern and central commands, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), as well as members of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security organization.

On Thursday, four Code Red sirens were heard in Israel’s Eshkol Regional Council sending thousands of people to shelters. One mortar shell reportedly  landed near a cowshed.

Hamas launched the attacks following an airstrike that targeted a cell of Gazans attempting to launch airborne incendiary devices into Israel. One of the terrorists was killed in the airstrike and three others were injured.

Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s so-called military wing, issued a statement condemning the airstrike, as “a shameful and stupid crime, the enemy bears all responsibility. He will pay the price for his blood. Eye for an eye. A tooth under a tooth.”

Israel has seen stepped up threats emanating from the Gaza Strip in the past week. Hamas and other terror groups fired nearly 200 projectiles into Israel last Saturday. An employee of Israel’s National Parks Authority on Monday found a dead falcon that had been outfitted with an incendiary device after he put out a fire in Habesor National Park in southern Israel.

The Trump administration’s Middle East diplomatic team charged that “Hamas’s leadership is continuing and needlessly prolonging the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza,” in an op-ed published Thursday  in The Washington Post.

“Rather than looking for opportunities to weaponize everything from kites to mirrors in order to attack Israel, Hamas should focus its ingenuity on improving the Gazan economy,” Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman wrote. “Rather than cynically attempting to exploit its barbaric holding of Israeli soldiers and citizens, Hamas must return them to their families. Instead of exploiting crossings such as Rafah and Salah al-Din to smuggle weapons and siphon off tax revenue for illicit purposes and personal enrichment, Hamas must hand those functions over in their entirety to the Palestinian Authority so that badly needed materials can get through to the people of Gaza.”

Kushner is senior adviser to President Trump; Greenblatt is the special U.S. representative for international negotiations; and Friedman is U.S. ambassador to Israel.

[Photo: ynet / YouTube ]