Israel will not relent in its high-pressure pounding of military targets in Gaza, officials said Sunday.
“We intend to continue to act with force for as long as is necessary, and according to the phases we had planned,” Israel Defense Forces Chief Aviv Kohavi said at a Sunday news conference, according to the Times of Israel.
He said Israeli forces are following a plan “with several stages, some of which have been completed and some which lie ahead.”
Israeli troops have hit hundreds of targets in the Gaza Strip since terrorist organization Hamas began launching rockets toward Israel last week.
Officials in Gaza have said the death toll from the airstrikes and shelling is nearing 200, with hundreds more injured.
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IDF footage of an airstrike against Hamas’ internal security ministry. pic.twitter.com/rMHyxjEdcc
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“[E]very bomb heads to a destination on the basis of intel … Our offensive capability is very accurate and we are doing everything to avoid hitting non-combatants — even though this is often not simple,” Kohavi said.
Kohavi said Israel has “heavily damaged Hamas’s underground capabilities. This was their flagship project. They intended to fight from there. And considerable portions have been hit and are unusable. It will take a long time for them to revive it.”
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With at least 3,000 rockets fired into Israel in the past week, Kohavi said, “We have critically hit their missile production capabilities — factories and people.”
“We have hit many weapons capabilities … many operatives … And we have thwarted innumerable attempted attacks via sea and land.”
“The Gaza Strip has never previously met this kind of force,” Kohavi said, explaining that the offensive measures are justified given “the scale of the rocket attacks on the homefront.”
“We are acting with the conviction that this is the right and necessary thing to do in order to protect the citizens of Israel,” he said.
Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk : “ At this point the mediations could not reach a ceasefire. Even if there will be one – it will be on our (Hamas) terms. If Israel will not stop – we won’t stop. Israeli will get more of the familiar taste of our rockets” #Gaza #Israel
— parallel_universe #FreeNavalny (@ignis_fatum) May 16, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that “the operation is continuing at full strength,” and that “it will take time” for Israel to do what it needs to accomplish.
“This will take time. There is pressure but we are getting serious backing, foremost from the US,” he said. “We have international backing and we are using it.”
On Sunday, a day when 190 rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel, Netanyahu would offer no deadline for the end of Israel’s attacks.
“We hope that it doesn’t continue very long, but we were attacked by Hamas,” he said.
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