Hamas on Wednesday claimed credit for a rocket barrage targeting Israel’s nuclear reactor in the city of Dimona, issuing a statement boasting that the terror group’s fighters had attempted to hit the reactor with long-range M75 rockets:
Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets, stating that it had been attempting to hit the nuclear reactor.
Militants from Hamas’s Qassam Brigades said they had launched long-range M-75 rockets towards Dimona.
Minutes later the Iron Dome intercepted rockets in Ness Tziona , Yavne and Rehovot in central Israel as Gaza terrorists extended the range of their rockets on Operation Protective Edge’s second day.
Reports confirmed that three rockets were launched from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip toward Dimona, and that Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system knocked one out of the sky and allowed the other two to pass by and land in open areas.
Palestinians launched at least 82 rockets at various Israeli population centers over the course of the day, including barrages that reached further north than any previous Gaza-based attacks and which at times saw dozens of projectiles fired in the course of a single hour.
Israeli sources, up to and including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have sought to emphasize that the attacks constitute a double war crime, inasmuch as the rockets are being launched from within densely packed Palestinian civilian areas and are aimed at Israeli civilian centers.
White House and State Department spokespeople had gestured toward a broader dynamic during yesterday’s press briefings, noting that “civilians in Gaza… are subjected to the conflict because of Hamas’s” violence and actions.
The Israelis for their part continued to press Operation Protective Edge, with a source detailing IDF efforts to the Jerusalem Post:
“Hamas has been surprised by Israel’s response. We systematically struck operational infrastructure, where Hamas commanders operate.
In the past 36 hours, we destroyed more than what was destroyed during all of Operation Pillar of Defense, and many targets were areas where senior Hamas commanders operate,” the source said.
Netanyahu Spokesman Mark Regev separately stated that Jerusalem has “repeatedly warned Hamas that [rocket attacks] must stop.”