Gaza rocket directly hits home in southern Israel; Iron Dome intercepts missile in Netivot for first time

IDF kills Islamic Jihad operative involved in terror attack along Egypt border; more than 30 rockets fired at Israel on Wednesday.

By Yanir Yagna, Gili Cohen and Avi Issacharoff



A Gaza rocket has directly hit a home in the Sdot Negev Regional council on Wednesday, as more than 30 rockets were fired into southern Israel since the morning.

Meanwhile, the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted a rocket fired at Netivot for the first time on Wednesday. Another rocket, which was fired during the same barrage, directly hit a home in Sdot Negev, and several people suffered from shock.

The home which was hit by a Gaza rocket in southern Israel, June 20, 2012.

The home which was hit by a Gaza rocket in southern Israel, June 20, 2012. Photo by Gili Cohen

Four more rockets landed in open areas and no casualties or damage was reported.

Earlier Wednesday, the Israel Air Force carried out a strike in Gaza which targeted a World Islamic Jihad operative who was involved in the terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border on Monday. The strike killed the operative and seriously wounded his comrade.

The Home Front Command instructed residents of communities near Gaza border to remain in protected spaces and avoid groupings of more than 500 people.

Several families from Eshkol Regional Council that do not have a bomb shelter in their homes moved into preschools in the town, which are protected according to government regulations.

Since midnight on Tuesday, more than 20 Qassam rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza into Israel, 15 of them hitting Eshkol Regional Council. A Grad rocket landed near Be’er Sheva, and two of the rockets landed inside towns but caused no casualties, though light damage was caused to an industrial structure.

In response to the recent rocket fire, the Israel Air Force launched several attacks in the northern Gaza Strip. Overnight Tuesday the IAF attacked an additional six sites. According to the IDF spokesperson, all attacks were successful. The spokesman added that “the terror organization Hamas was responsible for the activity in Gaza” and the rocket fire on the Israeli south during the past two days.
Last night, a Border Patrol officer was moderately wounded on Tuesday when a rocket hit a residential area in the western Negev. Three other officers were lightly injured. All four were taken to Ashkelon’s Barzilai medical center.

Approximately 50 rockets were fired since Monday night from the Gaza Strip; Hamas took responsibility for the rocket fire overnight Monday, and announced on Tuesday afternoon that its military wing had fired 10 Grad rockets toward Israel. The rocket fire marks an unusual move for the group, which has been avoiding launching rockets toward Israel for many months now.

Following the attack, communities near the Gaza border were put on heightened alert. The residents were given instructions to remain at a close distance to a bomb shelter.

In the past 24 hours, the Israel Air Force carried out several air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Overnight Sunday, Israel attacked a military compound in southern Gaza.

On Sunday morning, a terrorist cell crossed the border from Egypt into Israel and detonated an explosive device which ended up killing an Israeli citizen who was working on the construction of the Israel-Egypt border fence.

On Monday evening, the IDF carried out strikes in several locations in Gaza, and Palestinian reported that five people were wounded. Shortly afterward, the IDF carried out two more strikes and killed four Palestinians.

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