Hamas’s so-called “return to direct terror activity” began Friday with the firing of a guided anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep on patrol along the Gaza border.
This is the second time in a month that a guided anti-tank missile has been fired from the Gaza Strip. The IDF believes that Hamas and possibly other organizations have a significant arsenal including Kornet, Faggot and Sagger-guided anti-tank missiles.
Hamas fired 54 mortar shells into communities in the western Negev within a period of about 15 minutes early in the morning, causing extensive damage to several homes on a kibbutz, a police spokesman said.
This appears to be the by-product of the situation in Egypt and the relative lack of border control.
Israel will lash back at Hamas, defense officials vowed Saturday night, after the terrorist group launched its largest attack since Operation Cast Lead two years ago with the firing of more than 50 mortar shells into the south of the country on Saturday.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he viewed seriously the “criminal attacks by Hamas on Israeli citizens. Israel will take all necessary measures to defend its citizens,” he added.
The IDF immediately responded to the mortar barrage with tank and helicopter attacks against 10 different Hamas targets.
One Hamas security official was killed and five other Palestinians were reportedly injured in the strikes, Palestinian sources said.
Whether this represents a significant escalation or just an isolated week of increased violence remains to be seen. The situation is definitely worth watching closely.