Central Israel was targeted by intensive barrages Tuesday evening as Gaza terror groups launched hundreds of rockets at Tel Aviv and surrounding areas. Iron Dome intercepted numerous incoming missiles, but multiple hits and casualties were reported across the region.
In parallel, terrorists also targeted two of Israel’s main power plants, hitting near one facility and causing a large blaze. The Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline also sustained a direct hit.
Local residents in Israel’s central Dan region rushed to bomb shelters and stayed there for long minutes as heavy fire continued. This was the first time that Tel Aviv was hit by a major bombardment from Gaza, which followed an IDF strike on a high-rise in the Strip linked to terror activity.
The heavy assault marked an unequivocal declaration of war and ended any Israeli dilemma about the next steps. The IDF is gearing up for massive retaliation and will execute a forceful war doctrine designed by military planners in recent months.
Air Force, Navy in position
The Air Force has been given its orders and will carry out extensive strikes on terror targets and operatives across the Strip. The IDF will be hitting buildings used as command centers and weapons depots, hunt for key leaders, and heavily bomb Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror sites.
The Navy is also moving into position to strike Gaza from the sea, while infantry and armored forces are heading toward the Strip. The IDF last year paved a new road system in the Gaza region that can now be used to transport vehicles rapidly to combat zones.
Israel’s political and military leaders convened an emergency session late Tuesday to order the next steps. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gantz are expected to green-light aggressive operational moves that were not approved previously.
Gaza’s terror groups are bracing for a broad offensive while hoping for a relatively quick end to the fighting under international pressure. However, Israel is unlikely to stop before severely harming Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Cabinet ministers warned Tuesday night that the war will last some time, and that the IDF will now be using much more extensive firepower.