Four special-unit soldiers with light injuries were evacuated to hospital for treatment.
Over a 100 Gaza rockets fired over weekend.
Israel Navy commandos raided a facility from which Hamas fired many long-range rocket at Israeli cities, the IDF said early Sunday. During the raid, the commandos were shot at by Hamas gunmen, and returned fire. “The facility was hit and damaged,” the army said.
Four commandos sustained light injuries during the special operation. They have been evacuated to a hospital in Israel.
Earlier on Saturday night, two rockets were fired from Lebanon towards northern Israel and landed in open areas north of Nahariya. Rocket alert sirens sounded in the area of the attack in Nahariya and Shlomi. No injuries were reported in the attack. The IDF, in response, attacked the rocket launch zones in Lebanon with artillery fire.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza targeted wide areas of the country with barrages of rockets throughout the weekend, firing more than 100 projectiles and wounding several civilians, one seriously, as well as causing extensive damage to several homes.
A rocket from Gaza hit a fuel tank near a gas station in Ashdod on Friday, causing a fire and severe damage, while critically wounding a man in his 60s and lightly wounding two others, according to Magen David Adom. The three victims were taken to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot. Minutes after the attack, the Israel Air Force struck a Gaza rocket launcher the military said was used to target Ashdod.
On Friday evening, Beersheba was targeted with a salvo of rockets, one of which hit a builtup area. The home of an 80-yearold woman was left in ruins by a direct rocket strike. MDA paramedics evacuated her to Soroka University Medical Center in the city, where her injuries were described as moderate.
Meanwhile, the Israel Air Force struck more than 150 targets belonging to Hamas, and killed a series of its operational leaders in targeted strikes.
Rockets were fired at Tel Aviv and were intercepted by Iron Dome over the area following Hamas warning of the attack on Saturday night. Iron Dome rockets intercepted three Gazan rockets over the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
Rocket sirens blared in Tel Aviv and the nearby cities of Ramat Gan, Ramat Hasharon, Bnei Brak and Givatayim. There were no reports of injuries in the attacks on the Tel Aviv area. Sirens also blared in Ramle, Rehovot, Modi’in, Jerusalem and other areas after 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Izzadin Kassam, the military wing of Hamas, announced on its website before the attacks that it would fire long-range J-80 rockets at Tel Aviv for the first time.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired some 100 rockets on Saturday, and Iron Dome intercepted at least 10 of them heading for built-up areas. The remainder struck open, uninhabited areas, with the exception of one rocket that slammed into Netivot, hitting between two buildings and causing one resident to go into shock.
Since the start of the operation on Monday night, Gazans fired some 800 rockets at Israel, of which 582 hit Israel, the vast majority in open areas. Iron Dome intercepted some 150 rockets heading to built-up areas.
The IAF has struck more than 1,300 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in that time, and is preparing to step up its campaign.
For the third time since Operation Protective Edge began, air-raid sirens blared throughout the capital, forcing tens of thousands of Jerusalem residents into bomb shelters on Saturday evening.
At approximately 7 p.m., the city-wide siren could be heard as Jerusalemites rushed to find shelter.
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, two rockets hit seconds later in the Palestinian regions of Hebron and Bethlehem, missing the capital.
“The rockets were fired in the general direction of Jerusalem, but none fell inside the city,” he said minutes after the attack. “We are cautioning city residents to continue to heed the sirens and take cover within 90 seconds.”
The IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) destroyed the homes of a series of Hamas leaders over the weekend. The homes served as command and control centers, security sources said.
One home belonged to Ruhi al-Gani, a senior Hamas leader, and another belonged to Ruhi Jamal Mashtaha, secretary of Hamas’s political wing and a representative in the Gaza Strip of Palestinians in Israel prisons. Ghani is responsible for media communications used by Hamas’s military wing, according to Israeli intelligence.
Another home targeted belonged to Yahya Sanuar, a Hamas founder and senior member of the organization’s diplomatic bureau.
Sanuar promoted terrorist activity and helped plan kidnappings of soldiers, according to intelligence. He was released in the Gilad Schalit exchange with Israel in 2011.
The home of Assam Dalis, head of Hamas’s finances, was also targeted. Israeli intelligence places Sanuar in the inner circle of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
Two of Haniyeh’s nephews were killed, according to Hamas sources.
An operations center housed in the Al-Faruk mosque in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, which was used to store rockets and other weapons, was struck by the IDF early on Saturday. Fifteen people were killed in the attack, according to Palestinian sources.
The Israel Air Force struck 60 terrorist targets across Gaza between Friday and Saturday, bringing the total number of targets hit to 1,160 by Saturday morning.
Palestinians said 15 were killed in Gaza on Friday.
Ten terrorist operatives were killed by air strikes, including six involved in rocket fire on Israel, the IDF said. A launcher in south Gaza used to fire on Beersheba overnight was also destroyed.
Navy ships struck several targets, including a Hamas observation post and a location used as a meeting point by Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees.
Gazan medical sources said 121 people in the Strip had been killed in the strikes.
While Gaza medical officials claimed 81 of them were civilians, security sources in Israel say two-thirds of the casualties were combatants.
Since Monday night, dozens of operational infrastructure sites used by senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad members had been destroyed, the IDF said.
Infrastructure used by senior Hamas member Atia Abu Nakira in south Gaza was destroyed, as well as a home used as an operations center by senior Islamic Jihad member Jihad Ghannam.
Abu Nakira has taken part in a long line of terrorist attacks, the IDF said, including rocket attacks, tunnel bombs, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile fire at Israeli territory. Ghannam also took part in many attacks, the army said, including large-scale rocket attacks targeting greater Tel Aviv. Homes used as operations centers by two Hamas members, Tisir Mubasher and Mahdi Kura’a, were also destroyed overnight.
At 4 a.m. on Saturday, three rockets were intercepted over Beersheba.
Many barrages were fired at central Israel and the Shfela region on Friday. Two rockets were intercepted around 9:30 p.m. over Greater Tel Aviv.
Earlier in the day, the anti-rocket system intercepted dozens of Palestinian rockets fired at suburban Tel Aviv, the Shfela region, Beersheba, and the western Negev, which was the hardest hit.
An anti-tank missile was fired at an IDF unit on the border with northern Gaza, wounding two soldiers on Friday morning. They were evacuated to the hospital, where their wounded were listed as light to moderate.
The IDF killed a terrorist in Gaza it said was responsible for rocket fire on Israel on Friday afternoon.
On Friday morning, the IDF killed seven Hamas terrorists and others involved in rocket fire, including two people who were members of long-range rocket fire squads who were spotted on their way to launch projectiles.
Between Thursday and Friday morning, the IDF carried out 30 air strikes in Gaza, striking over 40 underground rocket launchers and 10 rocket production sites.
Since the start of the operation, the IDF destroyed more than 120 attack tunnels.
Three rockets from the Gaza Strip were fired at the Greater Tel Aviv area on Friday morning. The Iron Dome defense system intercepted them all.
According to Palestinian media, Hamas claimed that it had attempted to target Ben-Gurion Airport in one of Friday’s rocket barrages.
Air traffic was halted at the airport as sirens were sounded in the area, before being resumed by the authorities.
Another rocket toward Ashdod was intercepted by the Iron Dome.
The strike on the South came after a rocket was fired from Lebanon on Friday morning on a village in the Upper Galilee. There were no injuries. The IDF fired artillery rounds at the area from which the rocket was fired, an army source said.
Between Thursday and Friday morning, the IDF hit a total of 210 targets, including 81 underground rocket launchers, 21 command and control centers, 15 attack tunnels, and 10 training centers.
Seven Hamas regime buildings were also hit.
“Every four and a half minutes a building is struck in Gaza. That’s our rate of fire at this time. In the coming hours, I’d expect to see the same trend,” a source said.
During overnight strikes between Thursday and Friday, Israel Navy ships fired on targets on the Gazan coast.
Meanwhile, the IDF is continuing to prepare a ground offensive option, the source added on Friday. “Hamas will have to ask itself questions about how its force build-up process, which took between 10 and 15 years, sustained so much damage.
They smuggled rockets, then moved to domestic production and storage, and searched for weaknesses.
They searched for the ‘impressive’ picture of a scared nation running to shelter. But they got a totally different picture. They met a defense system [Iron Dome], and a public that goes to the beach, hears a siren, goes to a safe room, and then goes back to the beach.”
Overnight between Thursday and Friday, sirens rang out in Haifa and Hadera. The IDF said it is examining that incident.
Daniel K. Eisenbud and Reuters contributed to this report
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Israel-Navy-commandos-raid-long-range-rocket-facility-in-Gaza-362532