Photo Credit: IDF
Oil tank at a tar refinery struck by rocket fire in Ashkelon, May 11 2021

Dozens of Israel Air Force combat aircraft took off from their base to launch “widespread strikes against Hamas launching sites” in northern Gaza, the IDF said early Tuesday evening.

The operation is expected to last “hours” the IDF said.

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A new missile was introduced by Hamas over the past 24 hours. The missile is called “Sajil” and takes a horizontal flight path to evade the Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor missiles, which are designed to target incoming projectiles on a vertical path.

It was the new Sajil missiles that were launched by Hamas and which scored deadly direct hits in the coastal city of Ashkelon midday Tuesday, according to the IDF.

Local authorities were driving through the city of Ashkelon late in the day Tuesday, telling residents with a loudspeaker to “stay at home” in their bomb shelters; however, many homes in Ashkelon were not built with bomb shelters.

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.