A red alert was activated in Sderot and in the Gaza Strip Envelope settlement of Ibim Saturday night. The IDF reported that two rockets fired from Gaza into Israeli territory were intercepted by the iron dome system. However, police said that one of the two rockets hit the yard of a house in Sderot directly, causing damage. A man, 58, was lightly injured from glass shards and two women were injured on their way to the bomb shelter. Two anxiety victims were treated on the spot.
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In response to the rocket launches, IAF fighter jets attacked Hamas terrorist targets in the southern Gaza Strip. Among their targets was a military rocket storage compound belonging to Hamas.
In response to the launching of the rockets into Israeli territory Saturday night and the continued launching of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday morning ordered the immediate and complete closure of the fishing zone in the Gaza Strip. The zone had been reduced from 16 to 12 nautical miles last week, with no apparent |impact on the balloon launchers. It is possible that those balloons are not being launched by Gaza fishermen. On Saturday, 20 fires were started in the Gaza Envelope settlements by incendiary balloons.
In recent days, dozens of fires have broken out in Israeli territory, in fields around the Gaza Strip, as a result of balloons inflated by members of Hamas-affiliated squads.
A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Operations in the Territories said that Israel would respond firmly and sternly to all terrorist acts that harm the country’s citizens and sovereignty and would continue to act as necessary against these attempts. Earlier, the IDF attacked additional Hamas terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, in response to the launch of incendiary balloons into Israeli territory. Those targets were a military compound and underground infrastructure belonging to Hamas.
Meanwhile, 300 young Arabs gathered Saturday night near the border fence perimeter east of Gaza City, set fire to tires and threw explosives and grenades at the perimeter fence. IDF soldiers used crowd dispersal means against the rioters who were trying to scale the fence. The Gaza Health Ministry reported two gunshot injuries.
After loud explosions were heard from the direction of the fence, the Sdot Negev Regional Council issued a statement to the residents, saying: “In recent hours, explosions have been heard as a result of explosions inside the Gaza Strip. These are explosive charges designed to disturb our peace, there is no danger and there is no change in the guidelines. We will continue to be updated should there be any developments.”
On Friday night, IDF planes and tanks attacked a Hamas military compound in Khan Yunis, as well as underground infrastructure and observation posts of the terrorist organization, in response to the launching of the incendiary balloons.
On Sunday, an Egyptian Intelligence delegation is expected to arrive in the Gaza Strip with the aim of bringing calm to the area. This week, the Israeli media reported that Israel is refusing to allow money from Qatar to enter the Gaza Strip as long as incendiary balloons continue to be launched. Qatar, for its part, announced it would stop handing out $30 million a month to the Hamas regime for distribution to the needy. The Qatari envoy is apparently not keen on coming to Gaza for negotiations as long as things there have not calmed down.
Incidentally, the reason the Qatari envoy must come in person each month with suitcases full of $30 million in cash is that Hamas is classified as a terrorist group by the United States, so that transferring the money to them via normal banking channel would be penalized harshly.