At around 8 pm Wednesday, some four hours after Israeli aircraft killed top Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari, terrorists in Gaza fired Grad rockets toward Beersheba. Two rockets landed within city limits. One of the rockets hit the city’s center and caused damage to a vehicle and stores, but no injuries were reported. At least 30 rockets were fired toward the city.

The Iron Dome air defense system successfully intercepted 15 rockets that were fired toward south Israel from the Hamas-ruled territory. There were reports of rocket fire on Ofakim and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council as well, but rocket landing sites have yet to be located.

Jabari’s killing marked the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense against terrorists in Gaza following days of incessant rocket and mortar fire on Israel. During the first few hours of the operation, which is being orchestrated by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz from army headquarters in Tel Aviv, the Air Force launched more than 20 strikes in Gaza, during which at least six Palestinians were killed, including Jabari.

The strikes also destroyed dozens of long-range projectiles, including Fajr-5 missiles, which are stored in Hamas and Islamic Jihad warehouses.

Hamas’ initial response included the launching of two rockets toward the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Resdents were instructed to remain in secure spaces. At around 8:30 pm two more rocket landings were identified in the Eshkol Regional Council.

The IDF Home Front Command has ordered all academic institutions located within 40 kilometers of Gaza to remain closed on Thursday.

Source: Ynet News


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