IDF Prepares to Answer Netanyahu’s Call to “Deal Hard Blow” to Gaza Terror Groups

“Be strong and resolute, be not in fear or in dread of them; for Hashem your God Himself marches with you: He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (The Israel Bible™)

Almost 500 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza in less than 24 hours, beginning around 9:30 am on Saturday. The IDF responded by hitting over 220 military targets in Gaza with airstrikes and tank fire, killing at least two terrorists.

At least four terrorists were reported killed in the Israeli strikes, all of whom were said to have been part of rocket launching teams. The IDF also destroyed a terror tunnel that extended into Israel.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) released a statement that it would continue in its attacks. “We will respond forcefully against the Israeli enemy until the cessation of aggression,” the statement read.

In a joint statement, PIJ and Hamas said they were planning on increasing the range of the rocket attacks.

“A barrage of about 50 rockets was fired at the area of Ashkelon, and we are weighing increasing the fire to more than 40 kilometers in the coming hours if the aggression  [Israeli repsonse] continues,” the statement said.

Hebrew-language media reported on Saturday Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed defense officials to  “to deal a hard blow”  to the terror groups in Gaza. As per the Prime Minister’s request, an IDF spokesperson said the military sent its 7th Armored Brigade southward “so that there would be a force available in the Gaza Division in case there is a need for it.”

IDF Spokesman Ronen Manolis stated that the IDF preparing for at least a few days of intensive fighting.

“The IDF is not engaged in a cease-fire, we are not aware of the ceasefire and are preparing for a few days of fighting, and we have decided to transfer a brigade to the Gaza Division.” Manalis referred to IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip, saying that the effort was focused on damaging the weapons stores.

A senior official told Channel 13 news that there is growing understanding there will not be an immediate return to calm on the southern border, with an expectation of “at least two to three days of fighting.”