The Palestinian Hamas terror organization says the group is now at “open war” with Israel after Israel assassinated the commander of Hamas’s military terror wing, Ahmed Jaabari earlier today. Israel’s channel 2 said that Jaabari’s son was also killed in the strike. The strike was retaliation for more than 200 rockets that have been fired by Hamas at southern Israel over the last four days. There are reports that Raed al-Atar, Commander of Hamas’s southern division, has also been killed.
The Israeli Air Force also struck missile silos used for housing long range Fajr rockets, which can hit central Israel, in order to preclude their use.
9 people were reportedly killed withing Gaza.
The Israeli Defense Forces have begun a wide scale operation that the Israeli government has dubbed “Amud Anan,” a phrase that refers to the column-shaped cloud that led the Israelites in Sinai during the Exodus from Egypt. The official English name is Pillar of Defense.
Hamas has called on Egypt to support the in their fight against Israel and declare a state of open hostilities with the Jewish State.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak appear to have purposely diverted attention away from Gaza by visiting northern Israel and publicly discussing the Syrian threat Wednesday, in order to make it easier to catch the Hamas off guard.
The IDF Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai,said on his Facebook page:
“We are at the beginning of a wide scale attack, in view of the unbearable situation of the residents of the South. While we are not talking about conquering all of Gaza, there is preparation for a ground operation as well, which will be undertaken if it is necessary. The required military units that need to be diverted for such an operation are at the ready.”
Hamas issued its own statement saying:
“The occupation has opened the gates of hell on itself.”
Watch the footage of the Israeli Air Force Attack on Hamas