36 rockets were fired Friday night at the Israeli settlements alongside the Gaza border. The Iron Dome system intercepted six of them and the rest landed in open areas. Throughout the night, the IDF attacked several Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the launches. The IDF attacked underground infrastructure of the Hamas terrorist organization, rocket launchers, and other targets in the Gaza Strip.
Earlier in the night, an IDF tank attacked a military position of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip. Subsequently, at least two launches from the Gaza Strip to Israeli territory were identified.
On Saturday morning, the IDF announced that civilians in the Gaza envelope settlements can return to their daily routine. The army estimated that the rocket launches would stop, following early morning negotiations with the help of mediators to stop the shooting.
The army believes that the shooting at Israel was in response to the violent clashes between Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem in recent days.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a security assessment at noon on Saturday in Tel Aviv with the Minister of Defense, the Chief of Staff, the Minister of Internal Security, the head of the Shin Bet, the head of the National Security Council, the Police Commissioner, and other senior security officials.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi decided to postpone his trip to the United States Saturday night due to the escalation in Gaza.
The defense establishment estimates that the first shooting from the Gaza Strip Friday night was carried out by Islamic Jihad terrorists, and then other terrorist elements in the Gaza Strip joined the shooting.
The messages that Israel passed on Saturday to Hamas through the Egyptians, were that Israel is not interested in an escalation in the Gaza Strip – but if the shooting continues, there will be additional responses.
Israel is attempting to end the incident and no further Israeli action is expected in Gaza – unless there is further firing from the Strip. If the rocket launches continue, things could develop differently and additional response options are being prepared accordingly.
The IDF intends to reinforce the police in Jerusalem and its environs under police command. In addition, there will be a small reinforcement of forces near the Gaza Strip as well, in case there are further security developments.