A heavy barrage of rockets was fired from Gaza into Israel starting around 10 AM Saturday. Red Paint alarms were activated in a series of communities on the coastal plain, and, and even the Jerusalem area, including Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Gat, Gedera, Gan Yavne, Kiryat Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon and the Gaza perimeter settlements.
The IDF announced that it had identified about 200 launchings, and that dozens of them had been intercepted by Iron Dome rockets. The Arab terror factions, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The rocket attacks have been continuing throughout the evening.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are counting on Israel’s restraining its retaliation to prevent an all-out war during Independence Day next Thursday and the Eurovision song contest that will follow.
A woman was seriously injured by shrapnel as a result of a direct rocket hit in Kiryat Gat, a man was seriously injured from a rocket hit in Ashkelon. Homes in the regional councils Hof Ashkelon and Shaar Hanegev were hit by direct hits, and additional rocket hits were reported in Ashkelon and the Eshkol Regional Council without casualties.
The municipalities of dozens of towns, including Ashkelon, Ashdod and Be’er Sheva and the Merchavim Regional Council announced the opening of public bomb shelters.
IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis announced that the air force and armored forces attacked rocket launchers and Hamas and Islamic Jihad positions throughout the Gaza Strip. The Air Force attacked manned targets in Gaza.
“In the last 24 hours, we deliberately attacked manned targets, and there is a wide range of targets that will be attacked in the coming hours, and there will also be an increase in the quality of the attacks,” Manelis said. “There are between five and six enemy dead, and we continue the missions as agreed, and you will see additional interesting targets. In the course of dozens of attacks, we are attacking targets both of Hamas and of Islamic Jihad. Hamas is the sovereign and is responsible, but we see Hamas as an organization that hesitates to deal with the Islamic Jihad and therefore we attack a number of targets belonging to the Islamic Jihad.”
The IDF Spokesman also revealed: “We attacked an Islamic Jihad tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu held consultations with the heads of the defense establishment in the Kirya compound in Tel Aviv. A political source in Israel said that “we are not discussing a cease-fire.”
The Health Ministry in Gaza reported that a baby girl, her mother and another young man were killed in IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip. Air Force strikes will continue in the coming hours. It appears that the baby girl was killed by a Gazan rocket.
A political source in Hamas told Haaretz that the organization had decided to return to “strict measures” due to Israel’s procrastination in implementing the understandings of the truce.