TOI staff – July 20, 2018
The Israel Air Force launched a major wave of strikes at Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip on Friday evening as a cabinet minister said Israel was preparing a massive response to Hamas’s failure to heed repeated Israeli warnings to end the violence along the Gaza border.
“At this time our aircraft are carrying out widespread attacks against terror targets belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said, adding that this came after the “serious shooting incident against our forces,” referring to sniper fire at IDF troops during a riot on the border earlier in the day. The IDF later revealed that a soldier had been killed in the incident.
The army said 15 targets were hit, including the “Hamas brigade headquarters in Zeitoun.” The army said the headquarters were completely destroyed along with “weapons and ammunition stores, training grounds, observation posts, control centers and the offices of the brigade commander.”
“The strikes are continuing,” the IDF said.
Following the strikes, rocket warning sirens wailed in communities around Gaza. At least two projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome system and another fell in an open field, the army said. There were no reports of projectiles falling in Israeli communities or injuries.
The large-scale evening wave of air raids was the second round of Israeli strikes on Friday. In the first, Israel hit eight sites, killing four Hamas military wing members. The evening raid targeted Hamas positions in the north, south and center of the Gaza Strip.