Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
Smoke and fire rises following an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip (file)

The Israeli Air Force attacked Hamas terrorist positions in Gaza late Tuesday night, according to a statement by the IDF to retaliate for a day of arson terror, explosions and continued sporadic rocket fire.

“Israeli warplanes attacked a number of terrorist targets in the southern Gaza Strip, including a military compound and a weapons manufacturing site belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in Khan Younis,” the IDF said.


“The attack was carried out in response to the launching of the rocket from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, the detonation of balloons and the ignition of the camouflage network in the IDF’s position earlier today. The IDF is determined to carry out the task of protecting the citizens of Israel and preparing for various scenarios,” the IDF Spokesperson said.

Earlier today, following an assessment by Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi instructed the commander of the infantry brigade and an artillery battalion to deploy to the Southern Command. In addition, the Chief of Staff approved the mobilization of additional reserve duty and the cancellation of operational replacements for battalions planned for the rest of the week in various sectors.

“If Hamas think that we’ll sit idly by as their rocket fire, explosives, and breaches of Israel’s border fence threaten the lives of Israeli civilians – they’re wrong,” the IDF tweeted.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was activated at around 11:37 pm Tuesday night in response to a launch by terrorists from the enclave that sent a rocket heading straight for the Mediterranean coastal city of Ashkelon, a major population center.

The rocket, intercepted by the Iron Dome system, was neutralized before it could harm anyone in the city.

Just three hours earlier in the evening, Israelis living along the Gaza border were once again sent racing for their bomb shelters only 10 minutes after they had been told by IDF Home Front Command that it was now safe to relax their vigilance, and that things were calm; restrictions on their communities were being lifted.

With almost no time to reach safety before rocket impact, it took little time before the news made the rounds: another projectile had slammed into an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council district. The rocket could very easily have exploded in the center of town, or crashed directly into someone’s home, as one did in Sderot the day before.

People living in the communities along the Gaza border told reporters earlier in the day they are heartily sick of living at the edge of their adrenalin zone, and being asked to absorb the safety margin for the rest of Israel. Israelis in other communities are also feeling the stress: numerous calls have been received by psychotherapists around the country who deal with anxiety and the symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).


Previous articleFULL TRANSCRIPT: US Ambassador David M. Friedman’s Speech to 2019 AIPAC Policy Conference
Next articleNew York’s Rockland County Declares Measles State of Emergency
Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.