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Netanyahu orders army to intensify Gaza operation

Israeli soldiers on patrol in Netiv Ha'asara on July 9, 2014, the second day of Operation Protective Edge (photo credit:Edi Israel/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers on patrol in Netiv Ha’asara on July 9, 2014, the second day of Operation Protective Edge   (photo credit:Edi Israel/Flash90)

Terrorists fire dozens of missiles from the Strip, reaching northern Israel; officials warn of a long military campaign

(SOURCE)   Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday instructed the Israel Defense Forces to “intensify even further” the military operation against Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza. “The IDF is prepared for any option,” he said, stopping short of announcing a ground invasion into the strip.

“Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing at Israeli citizens. The security of Israel’s citizens is first and foremost. Our army is strong, the home front firm and our nation united. This combination is our response to the terrorist organizations that seek to hurt us,” the prime minister said in Beersheba, where he held security deliberations with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Sami Turgeman, the IDF’s southern command chief.

 “We are all united in the mission to hit the terrorists and restore calm,” Netanyahu said. “The operation will expand and continue until the rocket fire on our cities stops and quiet returns.”

The prime minister urged the public to continue following the Home Front Command’s instructions; “they save lives,” he said.

The instructions to the army came as Hamas shot rockets that reached deeper into Israel than ever before, amid ongoing Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

A government official specified that the army would attack Hamas operatives, infrastructure and tunnels more forcefully than on Tuesday, noting that Netanyahu wanted to prepare the Israeli people for what could be a long campaign.

“It’s not ‘bang, and we’re done,’” the official added.

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