The IDF on Wednesday morning fired artillery shells at targets in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, Just one hour following a rocket that had been fired from the Gaza Strip and landed on a residential street near a school inside the city of Sderot, Arab media reported.
According to local witnesses, at least one artillery shell landed in a terrorist training ground in Beit Hanoun. It is not yet clear which terror group operates the facility. Israeli media sources reported the site was run by Hamas.
No injuries have been reported on the Israeli or Arab side.
Around 10:30 AM Wednesday, rocket sirens were heard in Sderot and nearby communities alongside the Gaza Strip, following which an exploded rocket was discovered. The IDF spokesperson’s office reported road damage as a result of the rocket.
Several Sderot residents were treated for shock.
The swift retaliation represents a continued new policy instituted by incoming Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), of hitting back inside Gaza as soon as someone on that side violates the 2014 ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was scheduled to carry an Amos 6 communications satellite for the Israeli company Spacecom on Saturday exploded on the Cape Canaveral launch pad at 9:07 (EST) Thursday morning, destroying the satellite as well.
The Amos 6 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket. Courtesy: SpaceX
The company said the launch pad was clear and no one was injured in the accident, adding in a statement: “SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s standard pre-launch static fire test, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in loss of the vehicle and its payload.”
Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd is being acquired by Beijing Xinwei Technology Group for $285 million. According to industry media reports, the transaction’s terms were pending on the successful entry into service of Spacecom’s Amos-6 telecommunications satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and scheduled for launch Saturday, Sept. 3, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Israeli scientists developing the AMOS-6 satellite.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, a.k.a. SpaceX, is owned by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, who also owns the electric car company Tesla.
Spacecom, developed the Amos-6 satellite for Facebook and the French satellite provider, Eutelsat, in a venture intended to supply free Internet to millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.
The project is part of Facebook’s Internet.org non-for-profit initiative of providing affordable or free Internet to countries with limited or no access to what founder, Mark Zuckerberg describes as “the knowledge economy.”
AMOS-6 was designed to be able to cover the Middle East, Central East Europe and much of Africa.
Content by Alexander J. Apfel/TPS was used in this report.