"The occupation began this aggression and we have the right to defend ourselves." Those were the words of a member of Hamas' leadership this week in a series of statements from the group attempting to justify the sharp increase in hostilities. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) twitter feed posted the story from the Jerusalem Post early Wednesday morning.
Hamas spokesman: "All Israelis have now become legitimate targets." http://t.co/fcBsX5kJeQ
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 9, 2014
Overnight, Hamas rockets struck the farthest into Israel they have ever reached. Multiple Hamas sources confirmed their intent to continue the onslaught (emphasis added):
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of perpetrating “massacres” against women and children in Khan Yunis.
Referring to an Israel Air Force bombing of a house belonging to a Hamas operative, Abu Zuhri said: “The Khan Yunis massacre against women and children is an ugly war crime. All Israelis have now become legitimate targets."
Israel has promised to meet force with force, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordering the military to "take off the gloves."