Israel bombarded the Gaza Strip on Tuesday , stepping up what threatens to become a long-term offensive against Islamist terrorist group Hamas after torrents of rockets being fired from Gaza in the last few days. A rocket was lauched targeting Tel Aviv (70 km north of the Gaza Strip) today, but was intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” defence system. The rocket attack was the deepest strike yet of rockets since Israel launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip earlier Tuesday.
But the continued rocket fire had become too much by Tuesday morning, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a green light to “Operation Protective Edge.” At least 50 terrorist targets were hit in aerial bombardments during the predawn hours, and Israeli officials warned that a ground invasion of Gaza could follow.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that while a ground incursion into Gaza is not Israel’s “first choice,” the government will do whatever necessary to provide security to its citizens.
Speaking at the Israel Conference on Peace, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak stated, “We have to respond forcefully, with determination and reason. ”Israel cannot afford to have millions of civilians under rocket threat.”
Netanyahu, meanwhile, ordered the Israeli army to prepare for a major operation and to “see it through to the end.” He did not elaborate.