Live updates from Ma’an
10:45: New Israeli airstrike in eastern Shajaiya neighborhood of Gaza City; medics say six injured including two children and a woman.
10:25: Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for launching hundreds of projectiles including Katyusha rockets toward Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, Ashdod and south of Tel Aviv.
The group said it launched 10 Grad rockets at Ashkelon, 19 rockets toward Sufa and Nir Yitzhak, and five rockets toward Kiryat Gat near the Gaza border.
10:17: Thousands of Palestinians have turned out to mourn the passing of Ahmad al-Jaabari, the Hamas leader who was killed Wednesday.
10:11: Egypt has officially requested a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss what it described as Israeli “aggression” on Gaza, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
10:12 – Walla reported that a long-distance Fajr rocket aimed at the Tel Aviv area was intercepted by the Iron Dome system. The MDA EMT units are on high alert to respond to a possible hit. A Hamas source claims there have been three Farj firing this morning, and some 150 short range missiles. The Islamic Jihad has claimed 45 Grad launchings.
9:25 AM – Over the past few minutes there have been reports of rockets falling in Kiryat Gat, Netivot and the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. No reports of casualties. Just now, the Iron Dome system intercepted two Grad rockets fired at Be’er Sheva.
Lachish Region Police Chief, Commander Alon Levavi, was at the scene in Kiryat Malachi and was adamant in his statement: “If the public had followed the instructions in this case (referring to the three killed and six injured from 2 Grad hits), we probably could have reported fewer casualties.”
Internal security Minister Yizhak Aharonovitch said: “We should applaud the military and the Iron Dome system.”
Aharonovitch added: “There is no magic solution to prevent rockets from falling on population centers. Occasionally a rocket will fall. But when I come here and see so many civilians just loitering around, I think it’s irresponsible.”
Regarding the Gaza operation, the minister said: “In my opinion, it will not end in two or three days.”
8:45 AM Three are reported dead in 2 rocket strikes on Kiryat Melachi. The building they were in was hit directly by a Grad rocket. The three were trapped under the collapsed building. Police forces are rushing to the site.
Another six persons, one of them a baby, received from severe to light injuries and are receiving emergency treatment. The baby’s injuries was described as “medium.”
In Ashdod two are lightly injured from a Grad rocket.
Kiryat Malachi is about 20 miles from the Gaza border.