Palestinians launch rockets, mortar shells at Israel’s south prompting IAF to strike Gaza terror cells, killing 12 Islamic Jihad operatives. Iron Dome intercepts Grads fired at Ashdod, Beersheba
The IDF estimates that over 80 rockets have been fired at Israel since Friday, 65 exploded in the south. A Home Front Command official said: “The Command’s instructions have proven to save lives and they should be followed. When an alarm is sounded or if there is an explosion – enter a safety area.” Israelis are also instructed to avoid large gatherings of more than 500.
Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich addressed the ongoing rocket fire on Saturday, saying: “This escalation cannot be ignored.” He added that he fully backs the government’s decision to green light targeted killings against terror cell leaders planning a terror attack in Israel.
“These terrorists must understand they bear the responsibility,” Danilovich emphasized. “Even if it causes tensions now, in the long run it will cause deterrence.”
Ashdod reported that the Iron Dome intercepted two rockets. The rocket fire continued throughout the night as two rockets fired at Beersheba from northern Gaza. One of the projectiles landed within city limits. No injuries or damage were reported.
In the early evening hours, the Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted at least four Grad rockets fired at the southern communities of Ashdod, Gan Yavne and Kiryat Malachi.
The Color Red alert sounded in the Ashdod region immediately after the long-range rockets were fired, prompting residents to rush into bomb shelters and secured rooms. At least one rocket landed in an open area in the city’s vicinity.
More than 80 rockets and mortar shells were launched at Israel’s south on Friday, prompting the Air Force to mount several strikes on Gaza terror cells, killing 12 Islamic Jihad operatives.
IDF kills terror chief
Gaza sources claimed 12 Palestinians have been killed in IDF attacks overnight, including a commander of the militant group behind the abduction of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was held captive for more than five years and freed in a prisoner swap for more than 1,000 Palestinians.
The Israeli military said it initially targeted Zuhair al-Qaissi, the commander of the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committee, a large militant group closely aligned with Gaza’s Hamas rulers. The explosion tore apart al-Qaissi’s blue sedan and killed his son-in-law, Mahmoud Hanini – himself a top PRC field commander.
Four people were injured in Eshkol Regional Council, including one critical injury and another mildly injured.
According to the IDF, shortly after midnight, the IAF targeted two terror cells gearing to fire rockets at Israel, killing two terrorists. Palestinian sources said at least two people were killed in the strike, near the Palestinian parliament in central Gaza City.
By: Ilana Curiel