Rocket fire resumed on southern Israel early Thursday morning after a brief lull, with Gazan terrorists continuing to paralyze towns in the area surrounding the Palestinian enclave.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office reported that seven terrorists were killed overnight in Israeli airstrikes across the Strip, as the army continued it’s day-old offensive against Gaza terror groups. Israel carried out strikes on more than 100 terror targets overnight, successfully hitting five rocket launching squads. The air force also distributed leaflets over Gaza warning residents to stay away from terrorist bases and weapons depots, stressing that civilians were not the targets of the strikes.
At least eight rockets were fired Thursday morning at Beersheba, which took the brunt of the 90 rockets Gaza hurled at Israel a day earlier following the assassination of Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari. Five rockets were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, which is programmed to intercept rockets heading towards populated areas. The rest fell in open areas, causing no injuries or damage.
A smoke ring in the sky above Beersheba, following a successful interception by Iron Dome (screen capture: Channel 2 News)
Iron Dome also intercepted rockets fired towards Ashdod and Ashkelon.
Four mortar shells landed in the Eshkol region. No injuries were reported.
The assassination of Jabari marked the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, which Israeli leaders have warned could widen as they attempt to break Hamas’s ability to shoot rockets into Israel.
On Thursday morning, Israel targeted a motorcycle carrying a rocket squad, killing three terrorists.
Tank shells and naval gunfire have backed up the air onslaught. Few in the territory’s largest urban area, Gaza City, heeded the call for dawn prayers, and the only vehicles plying the streets were ambulances and media cars.
In Israel, the rocket fire continued into the dead of the night, with rockets falling around Beersheba, Ashdod, Sderot and other towns in Israel’s south. The fire ceased temporarily around 4 a.m. Thursday, resuming just after 6 a.m.
The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system has so far downed some 30 rockets over Beersheba and towns surrounding the Gaza Strip, out of some 35 attempts. All in all, about 110 rockets were launched by Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip Wednesday evening, including dozens of long-range Grad rockets that were fired at Beersheba.
Three of the rockets Wednesday night fell in the vicinity of Dimona in the central Negev, which is located some 70 kilometers from the Gaza Strip. According to foreign sources, the Dimona nuclear research facility is a focal point of Israel’s nuclear weapons program.
In: Regional News, Politics, Other Middle East, Weapons, Religion
Tags: Iron Dome, Grad, Fagr, Gaza, Hamas, Israel
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