The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have said they struck twenty military facilities in the Gaza Strip this morning in response to Hamas rocket attacks earlier in the morning.
This morning an Israeli home was struck by a Hamas rocket. The family, a mother and her three children, narrowly escaped the attack which tore apart the children’s bedrooms. Israeli sirens woke them up and they hid in the bomb shelter as the rocket hit their home.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad denied responsibility for the rocket fire, holding a joint press conference with a number of smaller terrorist factions in Gaza.
“We reject any irresponsible attempt to destroy the Egyptian efforts,” to reach a ceasefire agreement with Israel, the joint statement said, “including the rocket fire last night.” The statement was issued by the “political bureau of Hamas”, delivered by a large group of militants who had their faces covered and holding numerous assault rifles.
However, Israel dismissed the groups’ claims. “There are only two organizations in Gaza that have this calibre of rocket: Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” said IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. “It’s not hard to narrow down who’s behind it.”
In response, Israel struck 20 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including an attack tunnel being dug towards Israel.
One terrorist was killed in the bombings. Some media outlets tried to paint the terrorist, Naji Jamal Za’anin, 25, as an innocent victim of Israeli aggression, but this was countered by both Israel and sources within Gaza.
The IDF released footage of him loading a mortar canon with missiles moments before an Israeli jet took him out. The video below shows what happened.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDFSpokesperson) October 17, 2018
There is a longer video being shown online along with pictures of the terrorist’s body being carried during his funeral as family and friends mourn his death. Various sources within Gaza have also confirmed that the man killed is the one who was filmed loading the missiles.
The Mujahideen Brigades, which is separate from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have claimed that he was one of their fighters. They released this image of him in front of their militant backdrop.
Here is the banner we are accustomed to seeing from the various militant factions when their fighters die.
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) October 17, 2018
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security assessment at the headquarters of the IDF Gaza Division alongside Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and various heads of the IDF.
Following the security assessment, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:
“Israel views with utmost gravity the attacks against it on the fence, on the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, on Beersheva – everywhere.”
“I said, at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, that if these attacks do not stop – we will stop them.”
“I want to tell you today as well – Israel will take very strong action.”