IDF hits back and prime minister calls emergency Security Cabinet meeting as Israelis in the south are bombarded by missiles.
Men, women and children in Israel’s southern towns – many of whom already suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by previous terrorist onslaughts – are being terrorized anew by screaming Code Red sirens and exploding rockets.
More than 200 missiles have been fired at Israelis by Hamas terrorists in Gaza in the past month. The barrage increased in intensity over the weekend and shows no sign of abating, with at least 50 rockets landing in Jewish areas thus far on Monday alone, according to an IDF spokesperson.
Whether at home, at work or at summer camp, frightened Israelis of all ages have been forced to run to bomb shelters at the sound of the sirens, which give just 15 seconds’ warning before a rocket hits. Different municipalities in Israel’s south are still deciding whether to permit summer activities and camps for children to proceed as usual outside of bomb shelters, with Ashdod saying no and Ashkelon saying yes.
Much of the brunt has been borne by people in the Eshkol Regional Council, which shares most of its western border with the Gaza Strip. This 300-square-mile community in southern Israel is home to a mix of residential, educational, cultural, agricultural and industrial areas.
Hamas to ‘Settlers’ of Be’er Sheva: Run for your Lives!
A missile also exploded on the outskirts of the more densely populated Be’er Sheva on Monday morning, causing injuries to an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier following a weekend in which one rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system and another one hit an unoccupied area of the town.
While this was going on, the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist entity, posted a video online warning residents of Be’er Sheva to run for their lives and blaming the attacks on Israel.
“Your leaders killed our children, bombed our homes, and sentenced you to death,” the video stated. “Run, before it is too late.”
Another video posted by the Al Qassam Brigades this weekend stated in Hebrew subtitles, “Your settlements in the West Bank are within our range.”
The IDF has been responding to what it described as “relentless rocket fire” by conducting targeted strikes against Hamas operatives and outposts in Gaza. The Israeli Air Force hit 14 Hamas operations on Monday, resulting in the deaths of nine terrorists, the Post said.
An IDF patrol near the security fence bordering Gaza returned fire after being targeted on Monday by an anti-tank missile and gunfire emanating from Gaza.
“The IDF is prepared to defend the citizens of Israel from any threat and will continue to act decisively and as long as necessary until peace returns to daily life,” said an IDF spokesperson in a statement.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency meeting of the Security Cabinet late Monday afternoon.
The public has not heard from the new Fatah-Hamas unity government during this surge in anti-Jewish violence, which some analysts are describing as a possible third intifada (violent Palestinian uprising). The increase in terrorism and rioting was triggered by the kidnapping and murder of the three Jewish teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Sha’ar and the subsequent murder of the Arab Muslim teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir.
Author: Sherry Miller
Staff Writer, United with Israel