Gaza rocket strikes home in central Israel, injures seven

Palestinian Islamists launched a rocket early this morning from the Gaza Strip towards Israel’s central communities. After rocket alert sirens were sounded across the Hefer Valley and Sharon regions, located north of Tel Aviv, the IDF spokesperson’s Unit announced that “one rocket was identified to have been launched from the Gaza Strip.” Shortly thereafter, it was confirmed that a residential structure in the Jewish community of Mishmeret on the Sharon Plain sustained a direct hit. Two women sustained moderate wounds, while another five residents of the building sustained light injuries, including a three-year-old toddler and an 18-month-old infant. Mishmeret resident Yair Sagi said the house was “totally destroyed” after a direct hit, and that rescue services immediately evacuated the wounded outside in the event any of the home’s fuel canisters would explode. Sagi added that he helped care for a surviving pet, while four others were killed.

This morning’s rocket fire follows a wave of attacks from the Hamas-controlled territory over the weekend, during which Palestinians hurled dozens of explosive devices toward the Gaza-Israel border-fence barrier. In separate incidents, a number of balloon-clusters attached to explosive devices were launched from the enclave toward Israeli territory. In response, the IDF spokesperson’s Unit said an aircraft targeted two terror cells responsible for the airborne incendiary weapons. In other retaliation, Israeli jets and tanks launched strikes on four Hamas observation and military posts in southern Gaza.