Five Hamas chiefs killed as IDF Gaza operation gets underway. Nine Israelis injured by Palestinian rockets
July 8, 2014
Israeli air strikes singled out Hamas chiefs Tuesday, July 8, at the onset of the IDF’s Operational Solid Rock. Hamas Naval Commando chief Mahmoud Shaaban, 24, and three passengers were killed when their car was hit from the air. Another airborne raid bombed the Rafah home of Abdul Rahman Juda which served as a command and control center. Thirty Palestinians were injured. Magen David Adom has treated nine people for minor injuries and anxiety attacks from emergency call centers in the southern and central Israeli regions under rocket attack.
The high-density rocket barrage from Gaza – 50 by Tuesday mid-afternoon – has seriously disrupted normal life for millions of Israelis in the rocket-blasted regions – especially within a 40km radius from Gaza. Ashdod port has stopped working, major transport routes like the Ashkelon-Sderot railway halted, end-of-term exams in colleges postponed, children sent home from summer camps and social events called off.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered the IDF to broaden its Gaza operation.
debkafile reported earlier Tuesday: Israeli finally launched its military operation Solid Rock against Hamas Monday night, July 7, after the Palestinians directed a steady stream of 100 rockets from Gaza to expanded targets as far as Rehovot, 50 km away. Most of the 50 IDF strikes were conducted from the air and two from the sea. Ten destroyed Hamas infrastructure facilities plus 4 private buildings which, according to the Palestinians, included the homes of the Hamas commander and a Democratic Front operative in Khan Younes, after Israel gave them advance warning. Hamas reported 17 injured – but kept on shooting rockets through the night and early Tuesday, threatening to further expand the range of their rocket fire.