IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman deflects criticism of the bombing of media office building in the Gaza Strip.
IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman deflected criticism of the military’s actions in the Gaza Strip on Sunday and particularly the bombing of a building with media offices on Saturday.
“I want to see what would happen if one rocket was fired on Washington. They are firing salvos toward civilian populations,” Zilberman said when asked about the strike on the building that was home to the Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices in Gaza. “We are in the middle of an operation. If Hamas and PIJ think they can hide behind the media, their buildings are not something they can hide behind.”
The IDF said the building held the offices of Hamas’s military intelligence as well as other offices belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The IDF has refused requests to reveal the evidence upon which it determined that Hamas was using the office building for terrorist activity.
Meanwhile Sunday, the Israel Air Force struck the home of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and his brother as Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip fired rocket barrages towards central Israel throughout Saturday night.
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, as of Sunday, 174 Gazans have died so far from the escalations between Hamas and Israel.
Some 2,900 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel since the beginning of the operation dubbed by the military as “Guardians of the Walls,” of which some 450 fell inside the enclave. The Iron Dome intercepted some 1,150 rockets.
The homes of Sinwar and his brother Muhammed, who is in charge of the logistics and manpower of Hamas, “serve as significant terror infrastructure,” the IDF said in a statement.
The IAF also carried out airstrikes against several other homes, as well as the offices of Samah Sarag, Head of Planning and Development of the Hamas Political Bureau, the residence of Youssef Abel-Wahab, commander of the Hamas Zeitoun Battalion in Gaza City, and the residence of Ahmad Abd El Aal, a senior Hamas Military Intelligence official.
Dozens of weapon factories and storage sites in Tzabrah tel Aloha, Sheik Amodan and in Gaza City, as well as in the home of a Hamas official, were struck as well. The military says that those sites were located in the homes of Hamas naval and airborne operatives, anti-tank squads and offensive cyber units.
The IAF also carried out airstrikes against several other homes, including of the battalion commander of the Zeitun neighborhood. Dozens of weapons production and storages sites, including 11 in and Shujaiya in Khan Yunis, were also struck throughout the Strip. The ones in Shujaiya and Khan Yunis were hit right as they were shooting rockets towards Israel, the IDF said.
The IDF said that over 90 targets belonging to Hamas and PIJ were struck over the past 24 hours throughout the blockaded coastal enclave.
The military also launched strikes against “Phase B,” Hamas’s Metro under north western and central Gaza with tens of planes and some 100 precision munitions.
According to IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman, Hamas spent tens of millions of dollars on constructing this strategic asset.
“Every meter of the tunnel cost around $500 and one kilometer cost half a million dollars,” he said. “You can imagine what else they could have spent the money on.”
Zilberman said that the military will continue to strike this system in the coming days, as well as the multi-barreled rocket launchers that are being used by the terror groups to launch salvos towards Israel.
The IDF has hit between 40-45 of these launchers which has between four to nine medium-to-long range rockets that can be fired every second.
While the IAF has begun to take out these launchers over the past 36 hours, the Israeli public won’t see an effect from it for some time, Zilberman said.
Over 130 rockets were fired towards Israel from the enclave from Saturday night to Sunday morning, with roughly half (55 rockets) fired towards central Israel overnight, sending thousands to shelter in Tel Aviv and several other cities in the Gush Dan region. Sirens were also activated in the southern cities of Beersheba, West Bank and parts of the Negev.
Hamas fired a barrage of some 55 rockets towards Israel overnight, sending thousands to shelter in Tel Aviv and several other cities in the Gush Dan region. Sirens were also activated in the southern cities of Beersheba, West Bank and parts of the Negev.
No injuries were reported due to direct hits or shrapnel in the barrage on Saturday night, although 10 people were injured while running to bomb shelters.
Expecting the fighting to continue for several more days, Zilberman warned the Israeli public to continue to seek shelter when rocket sirens are activated.