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Israeli air force details 'Protective Edge' operation

The Israeli air force has performed hundreds of sorties as part of its "Protective Edge" operation, which is aimed at stopping the rocket barrage from the Gaza Strip. All types of aircraft – including unmanned – are taking part in the huge air campaign.

So far some 700t of munitions have been used in the strikes, which have mainly been directed at hidden rocket launchers, storage sites and manufacturing facilities. Hundreds of targets inside the Gaza Strip have been hit by air force fighters since the start of the operation.

Most of the Israeli air force's squadrons have been taking part in the activity. "Over the past day, the squadron has flown sorties, aimed at destroying rocket launchers, tunnels, terrorist infrastructure and also houses," says the commander of the "First Jet" squadron at Ramat David air base, identified as Lt Col Oren. The unit, which operates Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds, has been playing an active role in the fighting.

"As far as we are concerned, we have only used a fraction of our potential operational capabilities and upon receiving the order, we are capable of expanding our activity. Our mission is to stop the rocket fire on the state of Israel," Oren told the Israeli air force website.

Hamas militants continue to fire rockets into Israel, mainly using hidden launchers operated by remote control.

The Israeli-developed Iron Dome interceptor system has so far managed to shoot down 90% of the rockets, which have been aimed at different areas of Israel.

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