Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/ Flash 90
Smoke rises over Gaza after IAF air strike.

The IDF struck at least 140 Hamas targets overnight in Gaza, targeting terrorist training compounds as well as weapons factories and storage warehouses.

“Tonight, IDF fighter jets targeted over 20 terror sites in military compounds and in a Hamas training camp,” the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement.

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“Among the sites targeted were a weapons manufacturing and storage facility, a complex used for the Hamas’ naval force, and a military compound used for rocket launching experiments.

“Additionally, five training camps were targeted, as well as a main warehouse and a meeting point used by the senior commanders of the Khan Younis Brigade. Thus far, over 140 of Hamas’ strategic military sites have been targeted.

“The strike was conducted in response to the rockets launched from Gaza at Israel throughout the night. We are determined to secure the safety of Israelis, we’re on high alert, and prepared for a variety of scenarios. Hamas is responsible and bears the consequences for the ongoing events,” the IDF Spokesperson added.

At least 150 rockets were fired at southern Israel by Gaza terrorists overnight; some Israeli media reported that “hundreds” of projectiles were launched from the enclave.

The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted 25 rockets that were headed for heavily populated areas in the region, according to the IDF.

The Israel Air Force also struck a vehicle being used by terrorists to launch rockets at southern Israel, according to the IDF. A senior Hamas commander was reportedly killed in the air strike, according to an unconfirmed report broadcast on Channel 13 television news.

Most of the rockets landed in open areas, but those than reached their targets did a great deal of damage to homes and vehicles in Jewish communities. Nearly a dozen Israelis suffered physical injuries, and many more were traumatized as well.

A 30-year-old foreign worker from Thailand sustained serious injuries to her chest and limbs early Thursday morning when a rocket hit her home in the Eshkol Regional Council. She was evacuated in very serious condition to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva. A male victim suffered minor wounds; several more were treated for shock.

Other Israelis who were injured Wednesday night were treated at Barzilai Medical Center and reported in stable condition, with two already released from the hospital, according to the medical center spokesperson.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met after midnight with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, senior military officers and the heads of Israeli security agencies at the IDF Kirya base in Tel Aviv in an emergency situation assessment and to decide on the next step.

In the meantime, the IDF has begun to deploy additional Iron Dome aerial defense batteries around major Israeli cities in the south — Ashkelon, Ashdod, Be’er Sheva and elsewhere — in preparation for a possible further escalation by Hamas. In past conflicts, the terrorist organization has launched long-range rockets that have reached as far north as Tel Aviv and as far east as Jerusalem and Gush Etzion.

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