Gaza terrorists returned to ‘business as usual’ launching rocket and missile attacks against Israel late Tuesday afternoon.
It’s the 11th time Hamas has violated an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire, due to end at midnight.
A barrage of missile fire was aimed at Ashdod and communities along the Gaza border Tuesday evening, with all of the missiles landing in open areas.
No one was physically injured in any of the attacks, but many were traumatized and even more were “absolutely” outraged to find themselves and their children under rocket fire while they believed a cease-fire was in force and negotiations were underway.
A few minutes after 6:30 pm, two missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, indicating they were both headed directly for densely populated areas.
But the cease-fire had already been violated more than an hour earlier.
The first attack came in a barrage of Grad missiles aimed at Be’er Sheva and Netivot — a surprise not anticipated by residents who were not warned by the Code Red incoming rocket alert system, which malfunctioned.
Two missiles landed in open areas on the outskirts of Be’er Sheva, and a third exploded in Netivot. Miraculously, no one was physically injured and no property damage was reported.
Within half an hour, at about 5:30 pm, a rocket was fired at civilians living in the Sdot Negev Regional Council district. They, too were given no warning since the Code Red system was not triggered by the launch from Gaza, yet no one was injured in the attack.
A multiple barrage was fired shortly after, targeting the coastal city of Ashkelon and aiming again at the agricultural communities located along the Gaza Belt area, most of which provide food to markets in greater Israel.
“Operation Protective Edge is not over,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned journalists during a meeting at the IDF Naval Academy on Monday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He was right.
Israel Air Force fighter pilots took to the skies to retaliate immediately following the first cease-fire violation.
“Following renewed rocket attacks at Israel… amidst the ceasefire, the IDF is currently targeting terror sites across the Gaza Strip,” IDF Spokesperson Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement to media.
“The IDF remains alert and maintains both defensive and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression. The IDF is determined to defend the civilians of the State of Israel. Yet again, terrorists breach the ceasefire and renew fire at Israeli civilians from Hamas ruled Gaza Strip. This continued aggression will be addressed accordingly by the IDF.
“We will continue striking terror infrastructure, pursuing terrorists, and eliminating terror capabilities in the Gaza Strip, in order to restore security for the State of Israel.”
Hana Levi Julian