Israel’s retaliatory operation following Monday’s surprise Gaza rocket attack on Jerusalem and Israeli coastal cities has been dubbed “Operation Guardian of the Walls.”
In a ramping up of operational efforts on Tuesday afternoon, some 80 Israeli aircraft, including the new F-35 fighters, participated in aerial strikes on terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.
An IDF spokesman said that the aim was to erase the rocket-launching capabilities of Hamas forces in the northern Gaza Strip, which on Tuesday bombarded the coastal cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod with hundreds of rockets. At least two Israelis were killed and 23 more wounded by the Gaza rockets.
To achieve its goal of “totally neutralizing” the terrorist rocket threat, Israeli forces must destroy dozens of launch tubes buried throughout northern Gaza.
Israeli artillery is also taking part in the operation, and some 3,000 reservists have been called up to bolster the forces on the Gaza border should the situation escalate further. The army put out a call in Arabic to the residents of the Gaza Strip to stay clear of Hamas and Islamic Jihad installations.
IDF officials said to expect several more days, at least, of heavy fighting.
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