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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776
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Rockets, Mortar Shells Fired at Israel While Murdered Boys Laid to Rest

As three families and thousands mourned, Israelis in the south raced once again for the shelters.

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Israeli soldiers from the bomb squad search for a mortar shell fired from Gaza.

Israeli soldiers from the bomb squad search for a mortar shell fired from Gaza.
Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov / Flash90

Gaza terrorists resumed their attacks on southern Israel Tuesday evening, firing a barrage of rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel while three Jewish families were embraced by thousands of Israelis as they laid their murdered children to rest.

At least five rockets exploded in the Sha’ar HaNegev and Eshkol Regional Council districts in less than an hour as Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16 and Gilad Sha’ar, also 16, were brought to the cemetery in Modi’in. The bodies of the boys were recovered Monday evening after 18 days of intensive searching by tens of thousands of IDF soldiers and Shin Bet intelligence personnel.

The three teens were laid to rest side by side, as mortar fire rained down in the Eshkol Regional Council district without warning. Initial reports indicated the shells exploded in open areas, causing no physical injuries or property damage.

The Color Red incoming rocket alert siren apparently did not activate, and the area’s residents were unprepared for the attack.

Earlier in the day, Hamas terrorist spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told reporters in Gaza that “Israeli shouldn’t test the patience of Hamas.” He added the “threats of Israeli sources to assassinate the leaders of the movement don’t frighten us or the Palestinian people.”

Nevertheless, local sources have reported that Hamas and other leaders of terrorist groups are beginning to move underground in anticipation of an Israeli response to the constant rocket and mortar attacks fired at southern Israel – and the murder of the three Israeli teens who were laid to rest on Tuesday.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has continued to advocate for a renewed occupation of Gaza.

“We cannot bury our heads in the sand,” Liberman told reporters on Tuesday, warning the region’s Hamas rulers are still terrorists and that the group’s murderous actions are “the base of all its activity.” Liberman called for the IDF to launch an “Operation Defensive Shield II” in Gaza, similar to that carried out in all of the territories more than 10 years ago.

Hana Levi Julian

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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