Hamas fires dozens of rockets, mortars into Israel, vows to launch more if Israel strikes again
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired more than 30 rockets and mortars — with some Israeli media outlets reporting over 50 rockets — into southern Israel early Monday morning, causing damage to a residential building.
Most of the shells landed in open areas and there were no injuries reported. However, one of the rockets landed in a petting zoo in the Eshkol region, killing two goats and wounding nine other goats.
Unusually, Hamas claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, and said it would hit back at Israel whenever Israel strikes at targets in Gaza. The IAF hit two terrorists in an air strike on Sunday, killing one of them and badly wounding the other.
Channel 10 quoted a military official in the Southern Command as saying that the firing of such large numbers of rockets was made possible by the use of sophisticated launchers capable of shooting several rockets at once. According to the report, the launchers were remotely operated, allowing the terrorists to remain hidden from the Israeli military’s sight.
Residents of the Eshkol Regional Council were instructed to remain in their safe rooms or shelters. After several hours, the IDF said the area’s residents could leave their shelters, but advised they should remain 15 seconds away from a secure area.
The latest exchange of fire between Israel and the Gaza Strip, according to some officials the most serious flare-up in months along that border, came after an Israeli Air Force strike in the Gaza Strip targeted a motorcycle bearing what the IDF said were two Palestinian terrorists, badly injuring both of them. One of the two, Abdullah Muhammad Hassan Maqawi, subsequently died of his injuries. Maan News cited Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip saying that a total of 11 Palestinians were injured in the air strike, including five minors.
In response, terrorists belonging to the Islamist group Hamas that rules Gaza and a smaller hardline offshoot, Islamic Jihad, fired some 30 rockets toward Israel’s southern border on Monday morning, causing some property damage but no casualties, according to an Israeli military spokeswoman.
Gaza’s interior ministry said Israel’s military launched around 20 tank shells and an airstrike in response later Monday, mostly toward targets around the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. (continue reading...)