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July 7, 2014 7:53 pm

Israeli Defense Force Launches Operation ‘Protective Edge’ to End Hamas Rocket Attacks

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Israel Air Force helicopters.

The Israel Defense Forces announced the launch of a new major operation late on Monday night aimed at ending rocket attacks from Gaza.

The campaign, titled ‘Protective Edge,’ is aimed at stopping “the constant terror activity that Hamas is aiming at Israeli civilians,” an IDF spokesperson told The Algemeiner.

The operation was announced on Twitter at 5:22 PM EST by the IDF Spokesperson account.

“The #IDF will respond forcefully to any threat, and will do everything in its power to protect #Israel against terror #ItMustStop,” the IDF tweeted. “Since the beginning of the year, #Gaza terrorists have fired more then 450 rockets at #Israeli civilians #ItMustStop.”

Full details on the scope and scale of the operation were not immediately available but according to an IDF spokesperson it is currently limited to “Air Force activity.”

The first salvo of the operation is currently ongoing and the extent and nature of tonight’s targets have not yet been published by the IDF. However, Hamas reported that two houses and four training facilities in the Gaza Strip had been hit, according to The Times of Israel.

According to the IDF, more than 30 rockets were fired in a major escalation earlier on Monday which struck major cities Ashdod and Ashkelon. Four rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome  missile defense system and 16 landed in open areas near Beersheba. According to Israeli media reports, more that 7o projectiles were fired at Israel.

The United Hatzalah volunteer ambulance rescue service reported that eight people were injured in Ashdod, one from rocket shrapnel and seven while running for shelters.

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