Egyptian and Hamas officials confirm Iran behind rocket attacks on Israel; Dozens of rockets fired at Israel overnight; IAF hits hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets; Netanyahu: Hamas needs to know that we will not hesitate to go in and take all necessary steps – regardless of anything, any date, other than Israel’s security needs.
The Israel Air Force (IAF) and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continued strikes on the Gaza Strip after dozens of rockets were fired at Israel overnight Monday into Tuesday.
The IAF hit hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets throughout Gaza in retaliation for a rocket that destroyed a residential home and injured seven in the town of Mishmeret in central Israel. Terrorists from the Strip bombarded Israel with rocket attacks forcing thousands in southern Israel to sleep in bomb shelters overnight. School was canceled for all major cities and towns in southern Israel and reserve soldiers called up to assist the IDF.
The IAF strikes targeted “Hamas buildings which were utilized to plan and carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens,” the IDF confirming it struck “Hamas’s previously secret military intelligence headquarters, its Internal Security Service offices, the office of Hamas Chairman Ismail Haniyeh and a number of other military compounds.”
Egyptian intelligence and Hamas officials confirmed to Israeli media on Tuesday morning that Iran was behind the rocket attacks. According to a senior Hamas official who spoke to Israeli journalists, Iran’s efforts are an attempt to hurt Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel’s upcoming April elections. The official claimed that Hamas members worked directly with Iranian contacts without informing their senior officers of the rocket attack on Mishmeret, initial reports claiming Hamas had “accidentally” launched the rocket.
Prime Minister Netanyahu cut his trip to the United States short after meeting with President Trump and signing a historic proclamation of the United States’ recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Before boarding his flight, he directly addressed Israeli citizens and the global community. On Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights, he stated, “President Trump’s recognition of our sovereignty over the Golan Heights will be remembered for generations. There is a very important principle in international life- when you start wars of aggression, you lose territory. Do not come and claim it afterwards. It belongs to us…”
On the security situation with Hamas, he stated, “I am taking this plane quickly in order to return home and go directly to the Defense Ministry. We are dealing with the security matters. We have responded very, very forcefully. Hamas needs to know that we will not hesitate to go in and take all necessary steps – regardless of anything, any date, other than Israel’s security needs.”
The prime minister on Tuesday will meet with IDF, Defense Ministry and intelligence agency officials to evaluate and respond to Hamas’s ongoing aggression and terror on the State of Israel.