On day four of Operation Pillow of Cloud there was no easing up in the conflict. The IDF hit more than 130 targets in Gaza and scored a success in killing Hamas rocket brigade commander Yihya Abiya as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to expand the operation.
More than 80 rockets have fallen on Israel since dawn including several fired at the Tel Aviv and Gush Dan region in the morning and the evening. Those rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The most serious incident occurred in the Negev town of Ofakim when a rocket hit a car injuring five people, two of them seriously.
Behind the scenes Egypt has been trying to promote a ceasefire although Israel has refused to either confirm or deny such reports.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this morning, "The operation in the Gaza Strip is continuing and we are preparing to broaden it. The IDF has so far attacked more than 1,000 terror targets in the Gaza Strip and it is continuing its operations."
IDF spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai said, "Tens of thousands of reserve soldiers have already been deployed, and are ready and waiting for their mission. The IDF continues to act as if there are no talks with Egypt."
Meanwhile in the US President Barack Obama said, "There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. So we are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself from missiles landing on people's homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. And we will continue to support Israel's right to defend itself."
However, Obama added that the US is working to de-escalate the situation and that it would be preferable to end the present conflict without Israel having to launch a ground invasion of Gaza.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 18, 2012
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