More than 1,000 rockets have been fired on Israel from Gaza since Monday, leading to the death of five people, all of them noncombatants, while the Israel Defense Forces have targeted hundreds of military sites of Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza, killing at least 43 Palestinians, including Hamas commanders and fighters as well as several children.
The IDF said on Wednesday that it killed several Hamas senior commanders in targeted attacks, leading observers to predict that the exchanges of fire between Hamas and the Israeli military won’t be ending any time soon. Israel also shot down a large drone that flew into Israeli territory from Gaza.
Hamas operatives on Wednesday fired an anti-tank guided missile at an Israeli army jeep traveling along the Gaza border, killing one person, seriously injuring another and moderately injuring two.
Rumors have circulated that efforts by Egypt and the United Nations to broker a cease-fire have been rejected by Israel.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz extended the emergency situation on the Israeli homefront for another two weeks, allowing the IDF Home Front Command to place restrictions on the public. Gantz said Wednesday during a visit to Ashkelon, the Gaza-adjacent city that has come under rocket attack more than any other location in Israel, that the IDF will continue to strike Gaza until it is able to “bring a complete and long-term peace. Only when we achieve this goal can we talk about calm. There is currently no end date. We will not accept moral sermons from any organization or institution about our right and duty to protect Israeli citizens.”
Israel’s Security Cabinet is scheduled to meet Wednesday evening to discuss how to proceed.