Early today, 160 Israeli aircraft along with artillery and tank forces mounted a massive operation against an elaborate system of Hamas terror tunnels in Gaza, referred to as the “Metro”. No Israeli ground forces crossed into Gaza. Yesterday the IDF destroyed 4 high-rise buildings in Gaza used by Hamas. Civilians were given warning to evacuate, prior to the attacks. The IDF estimates that it has killed between 80 and 90 terrorists. The IDF has called up 7000 reservists.
Hamas continues to fire rocket barrages into Israel. Over 1,400 rockets have thus far been fired. The death toll in Israel has risen to 8.
Violence continued overnight in mixed communities of Arabs and Jews. Over 750 people have been arrest this week. Last night, a 19-year-old IDF soldier was brutally attacked by an Arab mob in Jaffa, and is in critical condition. To read more about the violence, click here.
Yamina leader Naftali Bennett has announced that he will not join a unity government with Yair Lapid. Instead Bennett will join PM Netanyahu and become Defense Minister, and Ayelet Shaked (the number 2 in Yamina) will become Foreign Minister.
Bennett said that the Lapid led unity government would be unable to deal with the ongoing violent clashes between Jews and Arabs and would also be unable to rely on support from Islamist Ra’am party leader Mansour Abbas, whose 4 seats would be critical to maintaining the government majority. Even with Bennett’s support, Netanyahu still does not have the 61 seats required to form a new government. That means another round of elections, unless Netanyahu can convince Knesset members from other parties to join his coalition.
Let us all pray for peace and security in the holy land.