Defense Update News:

Operation 'Lead Cast' Enters the Fourth Day with repeated air strikes, rocket attacks

Israel's air strikes were aimed primarily at Hamas establishments, military assets and tunnels along the Rafah border with Egypt, while Hamas continued its rockets attacks. The palestinian rockets were reaching up and beyond 30 km, employing Qasam and extended range 122mm Grad rockets aimed, some were aimed at the Negev capital city of Beer Sheba but failed to reach their destination.

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By evening, the IAF attacked tunnels in the Rafah area, as well as administrative facilities used by Hammas leading members of Hamas. Among these were the offices of the Ministers, Vice ministers and senior personnel of Hamas's Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Labor Ministry and the Construction and Housing Ministry were targeted and destroyed. The office of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was also attacked overnight.

Israel and Hamas exchanged attacks Monday, while Israel continued to mass ground forces on the border, preparing for a possible land incursion. The Israel Air Force attacked several Palestinian targets, including the Hamas premier's home and private residences of other Hamas leaders.

By Tuesday, the four-day death toll in Gaza rose to at least 375 by Monday evening. In Israel, four have been killed in the recent hostilities. By Tuesday Israel continued its attacks, despite the challenging weather conditions, demonstrating an improved all-weather capability that prevented such operations in the past.

Other targets attacked included vehicles carrying rockets, killing five persons. Overnight the chemical studies and labs of the Islamic College were destroyed. they were allegedly supporting the development and enhancement of rockets and explosives. This research facility was known to the Israelis for a long time and was considered a 'strategic target'. However, due to its proximity to the educational buildings, this target was spared so far. The Israelis believe that by destroying this site, the technical capability of Hamas could be severely damaged for months. Hamas responded with over 70 rocket attacks fired throughout the day, killing three persons and badly wounding others in Ashkelon, Ashdod and in Western Negev settlements. On Tuesday, Hamas fired 50 rockets, some reaching as far as Beer Sheba.