Hundreds Of Rockets Fired Into Israel As Tensions In The Area Escalate
Hundreds of rockets have been launched into Israel by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza as tensions escalate in the area despite a reported ceasefire, while the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have struck over 130 sites that belonged to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
As of 9:30 p.m. the Barzilai hospital in southern Israel has reported that it treated 16 people so far that have been injured as a result of the rocket attacks.
The Israeli Air Force also reported carrying out a drone strike targeting the home of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad member in the Gaza Strip, although no injuries were reported. The IDF had also struck a weapons production site in the Gaza Strip, as well as the headquarters of the group’s rocket unit.
The IDF also said that so far, 469 rockets and mortars have been launched into Israel, and that 333 made it across the border, with 153 being intercepted by the air defense systems.
The military also reported that they have successfully struck 133 targets that belonged to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
Around 8:30 p.m. Israeli Defense Minister praised the IDF and said that they have “wiped out the leadership” of the Islamic Jihad and “dealt a significant blow to the assets of this murderous terrorist organization.”
He noted that around 400 rockets have been launched into Israel, but around 100 fell in Gaza, “some were intercepted, and some hit Israeli homes.”
He said that the IDF’s operation was a response to the Islamic Jihad’s rocket assault last week and that it was “surprising and devastating.”
He went to say that the campaign is not over, but he hopes they can “bring it to an end soon, but we are ready for it to be protracted.”
Around 8:00 p.m. a heavy rocket barrage was fired into south and central Israel. Explosions were reported in the southern city of Beersheba for the first time since the strikes began, although no injuries were reported as a result.
The IDF reported that they had launched a new wave of airstrikes into the Gaza Strip as a result of the rockets, with four new sites being hit which included weapons storage depots and a site that was used by the Islamic Jihad’s naval commando.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Israel and said that they were still in the “middle of the operation against the Islamic Jihad in Gaza.”
“We have hit Islamic Jihad with the most significant blow it has ever suffered,” he said hailing the development of “new intelligence capabilities and new operational capabilities.”
He said the new capabilities “have created a new equation. We say to terrorists: we see you everywhere; you cannot hide, and we choose where and when to hit you.”
As of 7:30 p.m. the Barzilai hospital in southern Ashkelon said that it has treated eight people so far that have gotten hurt as they were making their way to bomb shelters in the city, although no further details were given.
Egypt also confirmed that a ceasefire was reportedly in effect, although no confirmation was received from Israel, and rocket warnings were still sounding in Kissufim, near the southern border.
Israeli officials said that they are “awaiting to see the results on the ground” to confirm the ceasefire.
“A ceasefire will be judged only by actions on the ground,” an Israeli official said. “Not by words.”
Around 6:30 p.m. reports suggested that Egypt, the United States and Qatar were working on mediating a peace between Israel and the terror group in Gaza.
The IDF also noted that David’s Sling air defense system was activated and successfully intercepted its first rocket.
The David’s Sling air defense system was manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and is capable of intercepting projectiles at a range of 25-185 miles.
At 5:30 p.m. IDF sources said that so far, around 350 rockets have been fired into Israel in the past few hours, however they noted that around 150 “fell short inside the Gaza Strip or landed in the sea.”
The IDF also said that its strikes into Gaza have hit around 53 Islamic Jihad rocket and mortar sites which included a total of 104 assets that belonged to the Islamic Jihad, and its strike were ongoing.
Around 4:30 p.m. local time, Hebrew media reported that over 100 rockets were launched into Israel from Gaza in recent hours. However, reports said that most of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
Two more Palestinian casualties were also reported by the Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza strip as a result of the Israeli airstrikes. The IDF said the strikes are still ongoing and targeting rocket sites as rockets were being launched into Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also met with mayors of communities along the southern border saying that Israel is “ready to both expand the current operation and inflict heavy blows on Gaza, now and in the future.”
The Prime Minister expressed that Israel has the upper hand in the conflict, as well as his appreciation for the resident of the southern communities who were bearing the brunt of the rocket attacks.
According to the Wanna news site, an Israeli official said that Hamas has not been involved in the rocket attacks against Israel, and that the targets of the IDF are the Islamic Jihad and not Hamas.
“Hamas has no interest in getting involved,” the official said. “Hamas are not active and they won’t act, although they are issuing statements.”
Around 3:00 p.m. local time, around 40 rockets were fired into the region of Eshkol, along the Gaza border. One rocket landed on the roof of a kindergarten class, causing minor damage to the building. No injuries were reported.
Palestinian health officials also confirmed the death of one person, and injuries to several others as a result of an Israeli strike. According to health officials, 17 Palestinians have been killed in the last few days as tensions continue to escalate.
Around 2:30 p.m. local time, rocket sirens sounded again this time in the cities of Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bat yam, and Holon. Longer range rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza.
Civilian flights were temporarily stopped from flying into the Ben Gurion international airport amid the rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv. Reports pointed to several airplanes that were close to landing being told to circle out of range of the rockets for several minutes before being allowed to land.
The Barzilai hospital also reported treating two individuals who were hurt as they were running for a bomb shelter as rockets were being fired into the city, however their condition was not revealed.
Around 1:00 p.m. local time, sirens sounded for the first time in in several towns in southern Israel cities since the IDF had begun their raids into Gaza. The city of Sderot said that nine rockets were launched at them, however the Iron Dome Defense System intercepted all but one, which landed in the city. However, no injuries or damages were reported.
The IDF also said that their strikes targeting the Islamic Jihad rocket sites were still ongoing as rockets were being launched into Israel.
At 12:30 p.m. local time, residents of towns along the border with Gaza were told to immediately shelter in bomb shelters until further notice in anticipation of rocket attacks. The order was issued to residents via mobile phone notifications, as well as local authorities.
The IDF also said that they have launched airstrikes into Gaza targeting multiple rocket launching sites.
The IDF also released footage of an airstrike against an Islamic Jihad squad that was headed to a rocket site with plans to launch rockets into Israel.
The Israeli military also released a statement that said that they will continue to “operate to preserve the security of Israeli civilians.”
Around 11:30 a.m. local time, the IDF reported a strike carried out against Islamic Jihad members at a rocket site in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian media reported that the strike took place near the city of al-Qarara, with one person being killed and another seriously injured as a result.
Israeli forces conducted overnight raids into the West Bank town of Qabatiya. According to the Israel Defense Forces, two gunmen had opened fire on the Israeli forces from a passing vehicle. The IDF returned fire, killing the two men.
“The troops responded by firing at the two terrorists, killing them,” the IDF said.
The IDF also said that a rifle and a handgun were recovered from the vehicle. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad said that the two gunmen who were shot are members of their organization. The Jenin-based group identified the two gunmen as 19-year-old Ahmed Jamal Assaf, a fighter in the group’s Qabatiya unit, and 24-year-old Rani Walid Qatanat, a member of the “Jenin-Brigade.”
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