Israel increases alert level to ‘Special State’ as military begins ‘Operation Protective Edge’By Mason White 2:13 PM July 8, 2014
|Israel strikes Gaza illustration|
By: Ariella Segal
(Scroll down for video) The Israeli military has announced that it has increased the nationwide alert level to “Special State,” as it has launched “Operation Protective Edge” to wipe out the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip, the Tazpit News Agency reported.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declared “A Special State of Alert in the Home Front” in communities and Councils that are within a 40 kilometres range from the border with the Gaza Strip.
Ya’alon declared the special state after concluding deliberations with the Home Front Commander General Eyal Eizenberg, CEO of the Defense Ministry Dan Har’el and Head of the National Emergency Authority, and in light of the latest developments in the confrontation with Hamas.
During the deliberations Ya’alon stated: “We are preparing for a campaign against Hamas that will not end within a few days. Hamas is leading this current clash with an objective of taking a toll on our civilian population. There is need for endurance. Correct behavior of the population, including following the instructions of the Home Front Command regarding the entrance into sheltered spaces, have a crucial role if we wish to avoid casualties. In the last hours, we have been intensely attacked and have attacked tens of Hamas assets. The IDF continues with its offensive efforts that will make Hamas pay a very heavy price. We will not tolerate the shooting of rockets and missiles at Israeli communities, and we are prepared to extend this campaign with every means at our disposal in order to continue to strike Hamas. I would like to strengthen the residents of the south, the Mayors and the Councils, who demonstrate leadership and responsibility, and are helping us continue the offensive effort.”
Military sources have indicated that it is possible that Hamas will expand the range of attacks against Israel, and could possibly target Tel Aviv and other cities in central Israel. The current situation has prompted the Security Cabinet to launch Operation “Protective Edge,” during which the IDF has targeted some 50 terror targets in Gaza overnight, including the homes of four Hamas terror leaders.