Palestinian Islamists launched a barrage of rockets toward Israel’s southern communities overnight, drawing IDF retaliatory strikes against Hamas military installations.
The indiscriminate attacks on Israeli cities began at the apex of yesterday’s signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords between Israel with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates at the White House.
While one rocket was intercepted in the skies over the city of Ashkelon by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, a second slammed into the neighboring city of Ashdod with a direct strike on a shopping center.
“Police bomb disposal experts responded to 7 rockets that were fired from the Gaza Strip in, towards Israel, into major cities,” said Israeli Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. He added that “heightened security is continuing in all areas in order to prevent and be ready to respond to any further incidents.”
13 Israeli civilians were injured, including a 62-year-old man in critical condition, a pregnant woman with light wounds, and 8 others who were treated for shock.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit informed TV7 that fighter jets and attack helicopters retaliated with strikes on “approximately 10 terror targets” in Gaza, including “a weapons and explosives manufacturing factory and a military compound used for training and rocket launching experiments by the Hamas terror organization.”
In defiance of the IDF warning of Jerusalem’s resolve to protect its civilian communities and sovereignty, Islamists in the Palestinian enclave resumed attacks with the firing of 13 more rockets at the Jewish State within a 40-minute just after the conclusion of Israel’s retaliation. 8 missiles were successfully intercepted above densely-populated Israeli communities, while the remaining 5 exploded in uninhabited areas. The IDF conducted another retaliatory bombardment against military targets belonging to Hamas in the Strip, including “underground infrastructure.”
The Iranian-proxy Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror faction claimed responsibility for last night’s violence, as the Israeli army further reconfirmed the Hamas rulers are “responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it; and will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians.”
Prior to leaving Washington after the UAE-Bahrain pacts, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “not surprised that the Palestinian terrorists fired toward Israel exactly when the historic ceremony was held.”
“They want to turn the clock backwards – but they won’t succeed,” vowed the Israeli leader, underscoring that “We will strike at all those whose hands are trying to harm us, and we will stretch our hands toward all those whose hands are reaching out for peace with us.”