By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sammy Turgeman this afternoon (Jul. 21) at an IDF base in the south.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “The IDF is making progress in the field according to plan and the operation will be expanded until the goal is achieved – restoring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period. The achievements in the fighting in the field are outstanding. I am impressed by the operation to hit the tunnels; it is achieving results beyond what we expected. On behalf of the people of Israel, I tell all the soldiers in the field that we are proud of their strength of spirit and that we pray for their well-being. A military campaign is a complex thing and it has difficult moments. I am certain that together, united, we will reach the goal.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated earlier today that the operation will continue until there is quiet, adding that the IDF will draft more reservists if necessary.
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz stated last week that that he believes the IDF should temporarily control Gaza, disarming Hamas while it does so.
Earlier today Hamas fired a massive barrage of rockets at several large cities in Israel. 14 rockets were fired at the Ashkelon area; nine of the rockets were intercepted and two fell in open spaces. Four rockets were fired at the Tel Aviv area; two were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
In total, Hamas has fired some 1,820 rockets at Israel since July 8th. That’s an average 140 rockets every day.