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Israeli military announces that it has turned its focus to killing Hamas fighters

By Mason White 3:14 PM August 4, 2014
Mother protecting her baby from incoming Gaza rocket 

By: Aryeh Savir
The Israeli military announced that it has shifted its focus to killing Hamas fighters, the Tazpit News Agency reporters.

The IDF said that Operation Protective Edge has moved to the next stage.

“We are redeploying our forces to enable combat against Hamas and continued defense from tunnels,” the statement read.

There are still skirmishes in Gaza, and Hamas is continuing to fire rockets and mortars at Israeli civilian targets.

In one incident, forces operating to uncover shafts identified several terrorists emerging from one, and immediately opened fire at the squad.

The force fired at the terrorists, and confirmed a hit. The forces moved on to detonate the tunnel’s route. In another incident, a paratrooper unit identified four terrorists preparing to launch an anti-tank missile from a house in the southern Gaza Strip.

Armored corps opened fire at the target and the house collapsed, killing four terrorists. Earlier on, Givati Special Forces uncovered more than 150 mortars and a tunnel opening in Rafah, Gaza.

The IDF further found motorcycles and weapons in a tunnel inside Israel. Hamas planned to use them to carry out a deadly attack against Israeli civilians and race back into Gaza with hostages. The Islamic Jihad’s northern district commander in the Gaza Strip, Danyal Mansour, was killed in an Israeli strike on a house providing him shelter in the Jabalya refugee camp.

This morning, IAF fired a missile at a terror operative riding a motorcycle in Rafah. A direct hit was confirmed. Since midnight, The IDF struck some 63 terror targets in Gaza.

In the meantime, Israel is looking for a diplomatic solution that will end the operation in a solid fashion. Islamic Jihad leader Ziad Nahla, the group’s number two in command, said that the issue of disarming the Gaza Strip has not come up in ceasefire talks in Cairo, and that the demand is in any case unacceptable to Palestinian factions in the Strip, a report in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram stated.

Palestinian factions are meeting with Egyptian intelligence officials in an effort to broker a month-long ceasefire. Israel was set to join the talks, but in the past week, due to Hamas’ violations of multiple ceasefires, Israel will no longer negotiate any agreement with Hamas.

The IDF has authorized a humanitarian window to take place in the Gaza Strip from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. today in all of Gaza, not including east Rafiah, where heavy fighting continues.

However, Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, warns that any violation of the truce will be met with immediate retaliation at the source of the fire.

Gaza terrorists fired 119 rockets at Israel. 108 rockets struck Israel. 8 were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense systems. One rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome over Tel Aviv, and 3 rockets hit open areas in southern Israel. On Sunday, Palestinian terrorists fired 11 mortars from the vicinity of an UNRWA school in the neighborhood of Zeitoun.

Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, more than 3,127 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel. In total, 4,626 terror targets were attacked throughout Operation Protective Edge.