The security cabinet met on Wednesday to decide Israel’s response to heavy rocket fire which rained down from Gaza throughout the day.
Israel has carried out dozens of strikes against terror targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fire. On Wednesday evening, the IDF struck two terrorists who fired at southern Israel recently. The IDF also destroyed a rocket launcher in northern Gaza. Several terrorists were also targeted in another area of northern Gaza in an air strike.
More than 100 projectiles have been fired from the Strip since Hamas broke the temporary cease-fire at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
According to Palestinian reports, 20 people have been killed and more than 100 injured since the renewal of hostilities.
It remained unclear whether Israel would give the IDF the order to expand the operation or respond in a pinpoint manner to rocket fire in attempts to keep the conflict from spiraling out of control.
An Israeli delegation led by Eyal Danino, political adviser at the Israeli embassy in Cairo, landed in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of restoring calm, Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabaa reported.
Israeli sources said Tuesday night that they had not closed the door on Egyptian efforts to enact a long-term truce and that the renewal of IDF strikes in Gaza and the pulling of the Israeli delegation from Cairo cease-fire talks were necessary measures after Hamas broke the truce. Israel has repeatedly asserted that it would not negotiate under fire.
Hamas said Wednesday that its rocket fire was a response to Israel’s attempted assassination of Muhammad Deif, the head of Hamas’s armed wing. An unnamed Israeli official said that the IDF had indeed targeted Deif.
A Hamas source told Al-Jazeera that the Israeli attempt on Deif’s life had failed, adding that this was the sixth attempt to kill the Hamas military leader since 2002.
According to the report, Deif’s wife and 7-month-old son were killed in an IDF strike on a house in Gaza.
Israel collected intelligence on Deif during the temporary cease-fire and stopped negotiations in Cairo in order to assassinate him, but failed in the attempt, according to Al Jazeera.
According to a Gaza medical official, in the IAF strike on a house belonging to the Al-Dalu family, 45 people were injured.
Hamas called on its Al-Aksa television station for Gaza residents to attend the funeral of Deif’s wife and son on Wednesday afternoon.
via The Jerusalem Post