“The aim is to draw us into killing civilians to bring about international pressure to end our operation.”
JAFFA — Amid Israel’s ongoing ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas terrorist group has been drawing Israeli forces into populated civilian areas, shooting at Jewish fighters from occupied civilian homes while women and children were inside, an Israel Defense Forces commander fighting in Gaza told WND.
“Hamas terror operatives shooting at us took up positions inside civilian homes while the civilians were still inside,” said the commander, who was speaking from the outskirts of an IDF operation in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.
“The aim is to draw us into killing civilians to bring about international pressure to end our operation,” the commander said, speaking on condition his name be withheld due to Israeli military restrictions on media interviews by fighting forces.
The commander said in one case today, four Hamas snipers shot at Israeli forces about from the open window of a home where women can be clearly seen in the background.
Israel this weekend launched a mid-sized ground and air assault on Hamas positions in Gaza following massive rocket bombardments of Jewish cities by Palestinian terrorists.
In a major escalation over the past few days, Hamas has been firing long range Grad rockets at the strategic port city of Ashkelon, which is home to about 125,000 Israelis. Ashkelon houses a major electrical plant that powers most of the Gaza Strip.
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Grad rockets are longer-range Soviet-style projectiles similar to the Katyusha rocket, which the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group successfully used in 2006 to barrage northern Israel. The Grad travels farther and has a larger payload than the Qassam rocket, which can travel about five miles and is the usual rocket of choice for Palestinians.
At least 140 rockets, mostly Qassams, targeted the Israeli city of Sderot the past four days, bombarding the working-class city of about 25,000 people located nearly three miles from the Gaza border. One man was killed and dozens injured last week. Thousands of rockets have been regularly launched at Sderot since Israel retreated from the Gaza Strip in 2005.