Sirens were heard in the southern Israel communities of Kissufim and Nirim following the killing of the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket launching force.
Sirens sounded in southern Israel on Thursday morning hours after the army announced that it had eliminated the commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket launching force and two other PIJ operatives in Gaza.
The alerts were heard in Kissufim and Nirim, kibbutzim in the northwestern Negev desert adjacent to the Gaza Strip. It was around eight hours between rocket attacks from Gaza as the Israeli military continued “Operation Shield and Arrow” and amid reports that Egypt was attempting to broker a ceasefire.
Israel was also reportedly in contact with other Arab countries on an agreement to end the fighting.
As of 7 a.m. local time, the Israel Defense Forces reported that Gaza terrorists had fired 507 rockets and mortars at Israel since the start of “Operation Shield and Arrow” on Tuesday morning with the targeted assassinations of three PIJ terrorist leaders.
Out of these 507 launches, 368 projectiles crossed into Israeli territory and 110 fell short in Gaza. Four Palestinian civilians, including a 10-year-old girl, were killed by the failed rocket launches, according to the IDF.
Israeli aerial defenses intercepted 154 rockets on their way to population centers, for an interception rate of around 95%.
The IDF said that 158 terrorist sites were targeted in the Gaza Strip since the start of the military operation.
The commander of PIJ’s rocket force, Ali Hassan Muhammad Ghali, and two other PIJ operatives, were killed in an early morning attack on Thursday on a residential building in the Sheikh Hamad neighborhood of Khan Younis.
“Ghali was a central figure in Islamic Jihad, as well as responsible for the recent rocket barrages launched against Israel,” the IDF tweeted.
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