Hamas expected to extend its deadly duel with Israel to suicide terror attacks after heavy Palestinian losses Saturday
This toll came close to 70 dead Saturday night. Israel forces lost two men in heavy battles with Hamas.
debkafile‘s military sources report intelligence received by the Israeli military command of Hamas plans to top their missile jihad by infiltrating terrorists into Israeli cities through secret tunnels running under the Gaza-Israel border. Palestinian suicide bombers are also to be unleashed against Israeli troops fighting in northern Gaza; Hamas is at the same time determined keeps up its heavy missile and rocket barrage against Israeli civilian towns and villages.
Saturday night, Israeli forces therefore continued to pound Hamas targets without let-up, including air strikes against Khan Younes and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and al Bureij camp further north. Another 10 Palestinian gunmen were killed, raising the day’s Palestinian death toll to close to 70.
They included a number of civilians, including children. A Palestinian truck loaded with 160 missiles, rockets and mortar shells was blown up in Jebalya by an Israeli air strike Saturday night.
Hamas is betting on a combination of multiple-casualty terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers with a continuous rocket blitz to bring Israel to its knees and force the IDF to end its incursion into Gaza.
Israeli leaders, for their part, expect the heavy Palestinian cost in life and demolition of the Hamas’ government and military infrastructure to terminate their missile offensive.
Saturday night saw stepped up Palestinian terrorist activity on the West Bank.
debkafile‘s military sources report an explosive device blew up in the hands of a terrorist preparing to hurl it at an IDF patrol south of Hebron. He was seriously injured.
Gunshots were aimed from Beit Jala at Mt. Gilo, at the southern edge of Jerusalem. An armed Palestinian was driven off when he tried to attack a military police checkpoint near Shuafat in northern Jerusalem. Pesagot near Ramallah came under gunfire. This series of attacks is estimated by Israeli security chiefs to be the start of a systematic terrorist offensive in and around Jerusalem.