A meeting of the diplomatic-security cabinet convened in the midst of the flareup in the south, began today with a directive to the IDF to “intensify the attacks against the terrorist organizations in Gaza.” The order was issued shortly after news broke of the targeted assassination of Hamas commander Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudri, was the first such attack in several years.
The meeting of Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Binyamin Netanyahu with senior officials, which is ongoing, has lasted over three hours.
Even as it proceeded, missile alerts were sounded in Ashdod, Sderot and other communities in the Gaza periphery. However, there have been no reports so far of any additional casualties or rockets landing in the populated areas.
Blue and White party No. 2 Yair Lapid sniped at the government, asking on Sunday afternoon, “Don’t the citizens of Israel deserve that the prime minister go on TV and explain what is happening here?”
Meanwhile, defense officials were quoted saying that Hamas has seeking another truce through Egyptian mediators.
However, IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis told reporters that “we are prepared for additional days of fighting,” including possible rocket fire on central Israel, including Tel Aviv.
Manelis also said that of the approximately 600 rockets fired at Israel, 400 landed in open areas, and that the Iron Dome system was performing well, with a success rate of 86 percent.
“Every strike is unfortunate and we are working to the maximum to prevent these,” he said, referring to the rockets that struck urban areas.
The northern coastal city of Netanya opened the city’s bomb shelters on Sunday and invited residents of the south to contact the city and stay with families who have volunteered to open their homes to them in the national crisis.
Also during the day, the Hamas-run health ministry and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said that an Israeli strike killed two PIJ operatives.
PIJ confirmed that Mohammed abu Armanah, 30, and Mahmoud abu Armanah, 27, were killed in an airstrike in central Gaza, without giving further details.