ESCALATION: IDF renews strikes in Gaza after rocket hits home in southern Israel
A rocket launched by Muslim terrorists from Gaza hit a house in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva in the early morning hours of Wednesday, damaging it heavily.
The “Red Alert” incoming rocket siren was heard on Wednesday at around 3:40 a.m. in several towns in the Negev area of southern Israel.
Seven Israelis were treated for shock after the attack, including a 39-year-old mother and her three children aged 9, 10, and 12, who were in the house when it was hit. In addition, three people were taken to the Soroka Medical Center in the city suffering from light bruising sustained when falling as they were running for shelter.
Another long-range rocket fired overnight landed in the sea near Tel Aviv.
Additional rocket sirens sounded in southern Israel communities around 8:30 a.m. The IDF said it had struck a group of Muslim terrorists that attempted to fire a rocket towards Israel and that the sirens were activated during the incident.
The Israel Air Force struck Hamas terror targets in Gaza in response, with the Gaza Health Ministry reporting that a Hamas terrorist was eliminated and another three terrorists were moderately wounded by a strike in Rafah.
The rocket attacks are blamed on fringe elements of Hamas, who are opposed to the ‘moderate’ line of the terror group leader Yahya Sinwar and seem to be aimed to embarrass the Hamas leadership as Egyptian intelligence officials arrived for fresh talks in Gaza.
The rocket fired at Beer Sheva was particularly powerful with a modified heavy warhead. Only the major terror groups in Gaza have such capability, signaling a split between political and armed wings of Hamas.
Israeli defense ministry halted construction works on tunnel defense along the security border fence with Gaza. However, Muslim terrorists continue launching firebombs and explosive devices attached to balloons into Israel this morning.
Following an assessment, Mayor Rubik Danilovich canceled classes in Beer Sheva schools on Wednesday morning. The Eshkol Regional Council canceled all classes after additional Code Red alerts in the area.
The Home Front Command issued updated instructions to residents of Israeli towns near the Gaza border. All schools to be closed on Wednesday morning. Gatherings will be limited to 300 people in open spaces and 500 people in closed venues.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot decided to cut short his trip to the United States following the rocket attack and is on his way back to Israel.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings and the reduction of the Gaza’s fishing zone to three nautical miles.
The Cabinet meeting planned for Wednesday morning was postponed in light of the situation.