The military policies on the northern front are now being applied on the southern front as well. The Israel Defense Forces distributed pamphlets last night (Wednesday) throughout the Gaza Strip warning residents of the area that the IDF will soon start bombing houses which are suspected of hiding weapons or ammunition.
"We will no longer allow terrorist organizations to hide weapons in civilian homes. We will distance the civilians from the area and then will damage these strongholds," said an army source in the Southern Command.
"The minute these announcements have been sent, the lives of anyone who has weapons or ammunition in their house are in danger and they must leave their house for the sake of their lives and their family's lives," one of the leaflest distributed read.
'Things will be managed differently'
Until now, the IDF has avoided taking action against the weapons caches found in private residences in Gaza out of worry for harming innocent civilians. The Southern Command has understood that the terrorist organizations exploit this policy of caution and have hidden weapons and ammunition in garages, shelters and rooms of Palestinian civilians' houses.
"From now on, things will be managed differently," said a source in the Southern Command. "We have distributed pamphlets to everyone. In the next stage we will send warning to each specific region, after which we will simply act against these weapons caches. There are places in which the civilians know they are living below weapon storehouses. This will not be allowed to happen anymore."
The IDF hopes that this process will put additional pressure on civilians to act against terrorists and distance them from settled areas.
In the meantime, the IDF is continuing Operation Upper Star in the al-Mouazi area. Infantry troops from the Givati and Artillery Brigades have targeted more than 40 terrorists, in a series of incidents in which the aircraft of the air force were also employed.