A day after Israeli military destroyed a 13-story apartment block in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned civilians in Gaza to leave any sites where Hamas militants might be operating.
The warning came on Sunday, after a non-explosive rocket had been fired by an Israeli aircraft to warn residents before the actual attack. Israeli intelligence had shown that the apartment block was a Hamas command center and as such, it was destroyed. The attacks resulted in the wounding of seventeen people.
During a cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned all inhabitants of Gaza that they should evacuate any site in which Hamas operatives might be carrying out terrorist activities. He added that any suspect site represents a target for the Israeli military.
Analysts believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s harsh words indicate a move towards bolder strategies on Israel’s part against Hamas. It seems that, in spite of the risk of raising international alarms, Netanyahu’s government is prepared to target Hamas operatives even in densely populated regions.
Only a few hours after Netanyahu’s statement, several homes in the city of Khan Younis were targeted by an Israeli airstrike. The cluster of ten homes was destroyed in the southern Gaza town, where Israeli intelligence believed that a Hamas member had been hiding. No fatalities were reported, but ten people were wounded during the attack. According to residents, ten minutes before the attack, a warning missile had landed in the area and made residents flee.
The terror fund transactions Hamas official, Mohammed al-Ghoul, was also killed by Israeli operatives during an Israeli strike in Gaza City. He was killed during a strike on a car. Ghoul had been a target for Israeli military for three days after the assassination of three top Hamas commanders that followed the attempt on Dief’s life.
Another attack that took place on Sunday resulted in the deaths of a mother and her four children. They died in their home after the bombing in Jabalya refugee camp. According to residents, no warnings were given before the attack occurred.
Correspondingly, Gazan militants kept firing mortar strikes and rockets at southern Israel. The attacks resulted in the wounding of three Israelis. In total, Gazan militants fired 117 rockets and mortars on Sunday. Nine of these rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.
According to Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman, Netanyahu’s warnings to Gazan citizens represent clear examples of war crimes against the Palestinian civilian population.