officials said Wednesday that talk of an imminent ceasefire
is irrelevant. Late Tuesday night, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz
authorized strikes on dozens of Gaza targets and instructed commanders to "carry on as if there is no diplomatic dialogue."
The Palestinians reported a total of 133 fatalities, half of which they said were civilians.
The IDF is stepping up its assaults on prominent Hamas governmental facilities and hit the internal security ministry, police headquarters and a bank on Tuesday night.
The army has also for the first time bombed bridges across the Strip. The IDF stressed the bridges were funded by the Islamic bank and that no bridges funded by European donations were hit.
After midnight, three terrorist cells about to fire rockets at Israel were hit. At least one terrorist was killed. Three rocket launchers were destroyed moments before they fired rockets at Beersheba. The army reported a significant decrease in the number of rockets being fired. Ten launches were recorded since midnight.
Following the death of Corporal Yossef Partuk Tuesday, IDF chief Gantz ordered to keep only the essential forces in the Gaza Division area. Additional portable fortified structures will be deployed where the troops are gathered.
Commenting on the future of the operation, IDF officials said that the army has yet to deal the really painful blow in Gaza and has thus far only been engaged in surgical strikes.
The Military Intelligence branch reported that Gaza residents were seen heading towards the coast after the IDF distributed leaflets advising Palestinians in the northern and eastern Strip to leave their homes.
IDF officials said this was an embarrassment for Hamas, but that no massive movement was observed as of yet.
Meanwhile, it has been estimated that riots across the West Bank will continue Wednesday.