Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations controlling the Gaza Strip are continuing their rocket attacks and they are suspected of possessing thousands of rockets, whose maximum range enables them to attack central Israel including the city of Tel Aviv, according to an intelligence report by the Amit Meir Information Center released on Tuesday.
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) retaliated with a number air strikes, targeting locations were the terrorists are active. The IDF also attacked a tunnel which the jihadist with the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military-terrorist wing, planned to use for a terrorist attack in Israeli territory.
Hamas and the other groups responded by increasing rocket launches aimed at civilian targets. As a result, the Israeli government's Security Cabinet sanctioned the initiation of what they dubbed Operation Protective Edge.
For example, according to the Amit Meir intelligence report, on the night of July 7, 2014, the Israeli Air Force attacked about 50 separate terrorist targets within the Gaza Strip. The next day, there was an escalation in the number and severity of the retaliatory attacks against the terrorists and their suspected weapons and rocket caches.
One of the incidents that has increased terrorist rocket attacks was the July 2, 2014 incident in which Muhammad Abu Khdeir -- a 16 year-old Palestinian boy who was a U.S. citizen visiting the Shuafat neighborhood north of Jerusalem -- was kidnapped and brutally murdered by a gang of suspected Israeli teenagers.
The Israeli National Police Force subsequently detained six Israeli youths on suspicion of murder with the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu dsplaying his outrage over the cruel murder. Netanyahu stated that Israel had acted immediately to apprehend the murderers and they will be tried for murder and other violent criminal charges. Following the murder of Khdeir, Israeli Arab protests degenerated into violent riots breaking out in east Jerusalem and to other focal points in Israel.
In the wake of the deterioration of security in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported that senior Hamas leaders had gone underground, fearing they would be attacked by Israel. According to the Palestinians, there was no Hamas figure attending the demonstrations in the Gaza Strip.
The union representing Hamas-affiliated "newspapermen appealed to the media, including U.S. news reporters in the Gaza Strip, not to photograph or publish information about the rocket fire carried out by the military wings of the various organizations," according to officials at Amit Meir
The request was made, they said, to keep the organizations from playing into the hands of Israeli propaganda. During the military operation, Israel published photographs of the rockets being fired, proving the terrorists use Gaza's civilian population as human shields.