Gaza rocket hits area south of Tel Aviv for first time
Three Israelis killed in Kiryat Malachi; rocket falls in Eshkol
wounding 3 IDF soldiers as rockets continue to fall on South; IAF
strikes nearly 200 targets in Strip; 15 Palestinians killed in
A rocket exploded in an open field outside of Rishon Lezion on
Thursday evening, less than 15km south of Tel Aviv. The attack, which
came amid a barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip, marked the first
time a Palestinian rocket neared the center of the country. earlier in
the day, three people were killed and two others injured in a direct
hit on a Kiryat Malachi apartment building. Hours later, a rocket
fired into the Eshkol region injured three IDF soldiers, two
Over 250 rockets have been fired from Gaza into the South since the
IDF launched a campaign Wednesday to root out the terror
infrastructure in the coastal territory, beginning with the targeted
killing of Ahmed Jabari, the chief of Hamas's military wing.
MDA paramedics treated five wounded people at the site of the Kiryat
Malachi attack, in which a rocket hit a four-story building. Three
people were pronounced dead on the scene and two others were suffering
moderate injuries, including a baby.
A house in Ashdod and a school in Ofakim near Beersheba also sustained
damage from rockets on Thursday morning. Rockets also landed in the
Eshkol Regional Council area, Gan Yavne and Ashkelon.
The IDF Spokesman's Office stated the Iron Dome rocket defense system
has successfully intercepted more than 80 rockets since the operation
A separate IDF spokesman confirmed that all Palestinian terror
factions took part in rocket fire overnight Wednesday, with Hamas
trying to take the lead.
He added that the IDF "believes the rocket fire will intensify." Tank
fire also was directed at terror targets, he said.
Since beginning its operation, the IDF has struck nearly 200 Hamas and
Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, including several terrorist cells
preparing to fire rockets at Israel and medium-range rocket launchers
located across the Strip.
Palestinian sources said that 15 people were killed in Gaza as a
result of the IAF strikes, with more than a hundred suffering
The spokesman concluded by describing the Hamas-ruled Strip as "a
forward Iranian base," and urged the populace to remain steadfast, as
"home front resilience is vital for the continuing operation."
Schools within 40 km. of the Gaza Strip were declared closed Thursday,
and residents were urged to follow directives from the IDF Home Front
Command. Magen David Adom paramedics treated 13 Israelis for injuries
suffered overnight prior to the fatal strike in Kiryat Malachi, the
organization said. Of the injured, four suffered light wounds while
nine more suffered shock symptoms.
Gaza-border communities were in lockdown, with residents ordered to
remain in their homes if they live within 7 km. of Gaza.
Explosions have been reported as far away as Dimona, some 75 km. from
the Gaza Strip.
At an emergency meeting in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the security cabinet
authorized Defense Minister Ehud Barak to mobilize reservists if
The cabinet also agreed that the IDF should continue to act against
terrorist infrastructure and activity in Gaza. It instructed the
Foreign Ministry to begin a diplomatic public relations campaign to
explain that Israel was acting in self-defense against military
targets, as the continued rocket barrage had become intolerable.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke on the telephone on Wednesday
night with US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and EU
foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. He was also scheduled to speak
with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The prime minister thanked Obama and Biden for taking the position
that Israel had a right to defend itself.
The military operation immediately increased tensions with Egypt,
which condemned Israelï¿½s actions and recalled its ambassador.
"Over 250 rockets have been fired from Gaza"
"At an emergency meeting in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the security
cabinet authorized Defense Minister Ehud Barak to mobilize reservists
"The prime minister thanked Obama and Biden for taking the position
that Israel had a right to defend itself."
Add this up and are we seeing the beginning of the final "Cast Iron
II" Reoccupation of Gaza?