The Tundra Tabloids just got off the phone from a bloggers conference call with Lt.Col Avital Leibovich concerning the violence coming from Gaza today and yesterday late evening. KGS
The IDF spokesperson said that following the launch of Kassam rockets, that the IDF fired mortar shells at the Kassam launch site. Apparently, innocent civilians were hit in the strike. The spokesperson stressed, however, that Hamas was responsible for firing Kassams from within densely populated civilian areas.
Lt.Col Aviatal Leibovich, IDF Spokesperson: This morning four projectiles were fired into Israel from Gaza. I can tell you that since Saturday morning, 61 mortars and Qassams plus one Grad rocket have been launched from Gaza. We do not want to escalate the situation whatsoever. I can confirm that among the casulties there were also terrorists as well.
I would also like to point out that last night we targeted six targets, once again retaliating the previous attacks of mortars and rockets. Actually there were seven of them and we only targeted six because in the seventh one we identified civilians, so we eliminated that as a target.
This is really the point here, that the IDF retaliates to proctect its citizens and country only when we have information that there are no civilians in that area.
So just to summarize, it was a response to fire of four military projectiles that were fired at us, it was shot at the Negev regional council, that is from the northern part of the Gaza strip. We do not intend in any way to escalate the situation, also that Hamas is responsible for this, this is the threat Hamas chooses to pose.
Question: Was there any damage from the attack in the vicinity of the areas targeted by the rockets?
Lt.Col Avital Leibovich: Yes there was damage, there were damage done to houses, after all there were a large quantity of mortars fired in a relatively short time.
Question: Were there any wounded?
Lt.Col Avital Leibovich: Yes, but I haven’t an exact number, that can be ascertained from the hospitals, but yes there were a few people, less than five.
Question: You said that there were no plans to escalate the violence, but if Hamas does indeed escalate, are their plans in place for that scenario?
Lt.Col Avital Leibovich: The IDF has one goal, to try and eliminate the terrorists and try to reduce the launching into Israel. That’s the goal. I hope that Hamas will realize the situation and choose not to escalate the situation. At our end, we do not wish to escalate.