The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) air attack on the night of May 13, targeting the Hamas network of tunnels under Gaza City, has caused Hamas a lot of damage.
The Israeli military said that, on the night of May 13, the Israeli Air Force continued to sort out 160 aircraft, launched 450 missiles at 150 targets of Hamas forces in the West Bank of the Gaza Strip, in operations that the IDF considers to be in retaliation for home-made missile attacks on Israeli territory.
The Israeli Air Force attacks simultaneously targeted the tunnels network dug by the Hamas group in the northern Gaza Strip around midnight on May 13. This is a vast tunnel system, built by Hamas over the years, to confront Israel.
According to the IDF, during this nearly 40-minute air campaign, about 450 missiles were launched at 150 targets in northern Gaza, especially around the city of Beit Lahiya. The IDF said it is still looking for a way to completely destroy the tunnel system, which is considered a “strategic asset” of Hamas.
In addition to the aerial attack, Israeli tanks, artillery, and infantrymen on the Gaza border conducted attacks on the forward positions of the Hamas special forces; especially finding and destroying missile launchers and anti-tank missiles.
Currently, IDF ground forces are still on the Israeli side of the border and have not entered the Gaza Strip. A total of about 500 shells, some flares and 50 tank rounds, were fired at Hamas forward posts in the Gaza Strip.
An IDF spokesman said that during the early morning of May 14, the IDF carried out further attacks against Hamas and Palestinian jihadist forces in Gaza; especially missile production facilities and anti-tank guided missile squadrons.
Shortly after the start of the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to pay a “very heavy price” to Hamas. From May 10 to the afternoon of May 14, Hamas fired about 2,000 artillery shells into Israel, killing 9 people and injuring dozens of Israelis.
Hamas also carried out multiple rocket attacks into southern and central Israel, firing rockets toward the cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Yavne and surrounding areas, injuring at least two people.
Some of the Hamas projectiles, which hit Israeli territory, were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, some landed in open areas, causing no damage; however some fell into densely populated areas, causing damage as above.
Minutes after the Hamas attack, the IDF forces began to retaliate, Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a tough statement, will do all necessary measures to punish Hamas.
The IDF’s campaign in Gaza to date has been primarily conducted with airstrikes, as well as artillery and missile attacks from the ground and at sea; but the Israeli military said it was preparing for the possibility of a ground attack.
The plans for a ground attack were presented by the IDF General Staff for approval on May 13, said IDF spokesman Zilberman. and then they were given to the political leadership of Israel to decide.
However, Israeli defense officials have made it clear that the goal of Operation “Defender of the Wall” is not to overthrow Hamas, but only to weaken and restore deterrence. to prevent future attacks.
Since the outbreak of hostilities from May 10 to May 14, in total, the IDF has attacked more than 750 targets in the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of special operations forces and some high-ranking Hamas commanders; destroyed four high-rise buildings, which were used (at least in part) as military facilities by Hamas.
The IDF also said that they destroyed dozens of Hamas missile production facilities, dozens of tunnels and bunkers; including several facilities, which the IDF believes will take years for Hamas to recover, and nearly 200 rocket launchers.
Hamas has also fired about 2,000 rockets and mortars towards Israeli territory since the fighting broke out on the evening of May 10. On the night of May 13 alone, 220 projectiles were launched. There were 330/2,000 projectiles that did not reach Israeli territory but fell in Palestinian-controlled territory.
International efforts to broker a ceasefire, led mainly by Egypt and the United Nations, have failed to make significant progress, as Israeli leaders say they plan to continue operations move until the goal is reached.