One person was killed and five others were wounded in mortar shelling that rained down on the Eshkol Regional Council district early Tuesday evening.
The attacks launched by Gaza terrorists came amidst a massive barrage that spread mortar and rocket fire from the Gaza Belt up the coast as far as Ashdod. Two other people were also badly injured in what was a direct hit. They are both listed in critical condition at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
In addition, three others were wounded as well in barrages that came shortly after. They are listed in fair condition.
All six were members of Kibbutz Nirim, according to interviews broadcast on Army Radio. In some cases, the Code Red incoming rocket alert system did not trigger.
One man was also badly wounded in the Hof Ashkelon coastal region as well in a massive barrage of missile fire from Gaza shortly after 7 pm. The victim was evacuated to nearby Barzilai Hospital in serious condition.
Nearly two dozen Qassam rockets landed in the Eshkol Regional Council district within a 30-minute period alone in mid-afternoon, less than half an hour after a kindergarten teacher was wounded by shrapnel falling from an Iron Dome interception over the port city of Ashdod.
Heavy missile barrages sent residents racing for shelter at 6 pm in the coastal cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod, as well as the Negev city of Be’er Sheva, and the entire process was repeated less than an hour later, in the same cities.
Another round of rocket and mortar fire was poured on to Gaza Belt communities just before 7 pm, with more than two dozen Qassams aimed at each of the Eshkol, Sdot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council districts in less than 10 minutes’ time.
Despite the fact that another cease-fire was scheduled to start at 7 pm, no fewer than 22 Code Red incoming rocket and mortar fire alerts were triggered after that point. The last alert was activated at 7:09 pm — at least for now. Nevertheless, the IDF was ordered to cease its attacks on terrorist targets in Gaza promptly at 7 pm.
Approximately 70 percent of those who live in communities around the Gaza Belt have been internally displaced by the rocket and mortar fire launched by Hamas from Gaza.