The IDF's deadly strike
on the Gaza Strip, which began Saturday morning, is far from over: The IDF said that while the first wave of fire was concluded, the military has to study the strike's results before deciding on the next stage of the assault, which was launched in response to the nonstop rocket fire from the Strip at the western Negev.
IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, added the statement, will be holding a security assessment to that effect during the day.
The Prime Minister's Office confirmed that Saturday's strike was, in fact, the first step in Israel's response to Hamas' breach of the ceasefire: "Following Hamas' violations of the truce agreement and the nonstop attacks on citizens in southern Israel, a decision was made on Wednesday, December 25, by the National Security Cabinet, to instruct the Israeli Defense Forces to take action in order to stop the rocket fire and terror attacks emanating form Gaza.
"The cabinet has tasked the prime minister, foreign minister (Tzipi Livni) and defense minister (Ehud Barak) with deciding on the time and manner of the said action. Following a unanimous decision, the three have decided on the Israeli Air Force strike which took place this morning. Israel stresses that it will continue to take action against the terror attacks and rocket fire emanating form Gaza against Israeli citizens," an official statement by the PMO said.
Saturday morning's strike targeted multiple marks in Gaza, reportedly killing dozens of Palestinians. The IDF said that Israeli fighter jets struck several Hamas infrastructure targets, including its headquarters, warehouses and weapon caches.
As the IAF launched its attack, Defense Minister Ehud Barak declared the Gaza vicinity communities under a "special situation in the home front," giving security forces special jurisdiction over the area and allowing them to make municipal decision the likes of how the local schools and industries will operate.
The special situation status includes all communities within a 13-mile radius of the Gaza Strip.