On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his military commanders to be fully prepared for a ground operation into the Gaza, the strip of territory controlled by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated terrorist group Hamas.
A senior Israeli official said of his meeting with Netanyahu: “The prime minister’s instruction by the end of the meeting was to prepare for a thorough, long, continuous and strong campaign in Gaza. The prime minister instructed the army to be ready to go all in. A ground offensive is on the table.”
Early Tuesday, Israel struck Gaza from the air, hitting more than 50 targets in the military offensive dubbed “Operation Protective Edge.” Israel has now hit over 150 targets in Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Force’s Twitter feed.
Hamas jihadis fired more than 85 rockets into Israel Monday, and continued its rocket barrage into Tuesday.
The Israeli cabinet said it plans to call up an additional 40,000 army reserves as the violence in the South of the country has continued to escalate. Late Monday, 1,500 reservists were called up to support the mission.
Israeli security officials have calculated that Hamas may be willing to use their supply of advanced weaponry in order to target Tel Aviv, the modern city that is said to be the technological and entrepreneurial capital of the Middle East, located roughly 50 miles from Gaza.
Hamas’ most dangerous weapon in its arsenal is the Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles, capable of striking Tel Aviv. In 2012, during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas unloaded some of its Fajr-5’s towards Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Most security experts concur that the Fajr-5 has been smuggled into Gaza and the West Bank by the Iranian government.
At 4pm local time Tuesday, Tel Aviv began opening its bomb shelters in anticipation for forthcoming rocket attacks from Gaza.