Over 100 rockets were fired into southern Israel by Hamas, the terrorist group that exerts political and military control over the Gaza Strip, following an operation in Gaza that claimed the life of IDF officer, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.
Dozens of Red Alert sirens sound in the last few minutes across Southern Israel, following massive rocket fire from #Gaza.#Hamas' terrorists are again directly & intentionally targeting tens of thousands of Israeli civilians living in villages & communities near the Gaza strip. pic.twitter.com/eXZq1f0h5x
— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) November 12, 2018
Though a number of the rockets have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system, a house and gas pipeline in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, which borders Gaza, were reportedly struck by rockets.
Public shelters in the city of Ashkelon have been opened.
Earlier, a bus in Kfar Aza was struck by a mortar. A teen, who was near the bus when it was hit, was critically injured. He is being treated at the Soroka Medical Center.
In response, IDF conducted air strikes against terrorist targets across Gaza.
Hamas’s so-called armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement saying, “in response to yesterday’s crime, the joint command of Palestinian factions announce the beginning of bombardment of the enemy’s settlements with scores of rockets.”
Israeli’s Home Front Command warned residents of Beer Sheva, Netivot, Ofakim, Lachish area and Ashdod in southern Israel to stay in protected areas Monday evening. Residents living closer to Gaza have been told to go to public shelters. All public gatherings in those areas are forbidden.
The escalation follows an IDF operation in Gaza in which a high-ranking officer was killed.
The operation, according to the IDF, was an intelligence operation meant to “strengthen Israeli security,” not to kill or kidnap terrorists.
However, when the IDF team was discovered, a firefight ensued, in which seven Hamas terrorists were killed, including a commander in charge of tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip.
The officer was not identified, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed him, saying that the people of Israel owed him an “enormous debt.”
A second officer was injured but is reported to be in stable condition.
[Photo: news10 / Twitter]