Ofakim was third Israeli town to join Hamas missile targets Sunday

A Palestinian missile hit Ofakim, a town of 30,000, situated 12-15 km east of Gaza and south of Beersheba, Sunday, March 2, crashing into the Salli mausoleum, but causing no casualties.
Defense minister Barak stated that Israel would fight Hamas in Gaza until it was forced to halt its missile-rocket war against Israeli towns and villages. The goal would not be attained in two days and more escalation was to be expected, Barak said. Regarding the Palestinian Authority’s suspension of peace talks, the defense minister said the PA had only itself to blame for the current crisis by letting Hamas terrorists to throw it out of Gaza eight months ago.
Saturday night, the Israeli air force demolished the building housing Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh’s office in Gaza City. Haniyeh was absent; he and the rest of the Hamas leadership have gone into hiding.
debkafile‘s military sources reported earlier that the IDF command received intelligence 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 to keep 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. In Jebalya, a Palestinian truck loaded with 160 missiles, rockets and mortar shells was blown.
Hamas is counting 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.

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