Military sending voice messages advising Palestinians to vacate by 8 a.m. Wednesday as part of efforts to avoid causing harm to civilians ahead of supposed strikes; Hamas urges residents against heeding IDF calls.
The IDF was sending voice messages to residents of the northern Gaza Strip late on Tuesday, advising them to evacuate their homes by 8 a.m. as part of Israeli efforts to avoid causing harm to civilians ahead of supposed strikes.
Hamas’ Interior Ministry urged residents of Gaza not to heed to the IDF calls to leave their homes, saying the warning were part of Israel’s “psychological war.”
According to Palestinian reports, an Israeli air strike destroyed the house belonging to Hamas legislator Ismail al-Ashkar overnight Tuesday.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday afternoon ordered the IDF to restart strikes on the Gaza Strip after Israel’s unilateral acceptance of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire was met with continuous rocket fire at Israel throughout the day.
Since the ceasefire’s proposed 9 a.m. start time, terrorists in Gaza fired some 141 rockets at Israel. Rocket fire continued after midnight Wednesday with the Iron Dome defense system intercepting a projectile over Ashkelon.
Projectile fire on Tuesday lead to the first Israeli death since the IDF launched Operation Protective Edge more than a week ago.
A fragment from a mortar shell killed Dor Chanin, 37, at the Erez crossing to the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening.
Diplomatic officials said that the IDF actions, which came at 3:00 p.m., six hours after Israel held its fire and responded positively to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, were the result of Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejecting the cease fire.
IAF aircraft began striking targets on Tuesday afternoon following the decision. The IDF stated that it would strike all “elements that are behind terrorist attacks on Israel.”
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip claimed on Tuesday that they had been receiving text messages and pre-recorded phone calls from the IDF that blame Hamas for the renewal of Israeli strikes following Hamas’s rejection of the ceasefire.
Some 20,000 Palestinian civilians have heeded previous Israeli calls and left Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu had earlier warned that Israel would widen its offensive in Gaza if the rocket attacks continued.
Yaakov Lappin and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
via The Jerusalem Post