Israel calls up 40,000 reservists for Gaza operation as intense Palestinian rocket blitz injures first Israelis
July 8, 2014
The IDF called up another 40,000 reservists Tuesday, July 8, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Operation Solid Rock expanded against mounting Palestinian rocket assaults – 100 by mid-afternoon. This was after Israel carried out dozens of air strikes Monday night, culminating during the day in raids that killed five leading Hamas operatives: 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-intensity rocket offensive from Gaza, now in its fourth week, 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.
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.