On Wednesday afternoon, terrorists fired more than 60 rockets in succession at populated Israeli centers in the south.
Late Wednesday afternoon, a barrage of more than 60 rockets from Gaza rained down in succession at southern Israel.
“Code Red” sirens sounded in Israeli communities, where children were heading home from school.
The initial report numbered the rockets at 20, but it has been steadily increasing throughout the last couple of hours. As of this writing at 6:30 p.m., the number has reached 60.
The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted three of the rockets, which were headed towards highly populated centers. At least one landed within a town, causing damage. Explosions were heard in the cities of Netivot and Sderot as well as in surrounding areas.
It was the largest attack from Gaza since 2012, occurring a day after the IDF killed three Islamic Jihad terrorists. Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility.
“It seems that the rocket fire came in response to our counter-terrorism operations yesterday,” Netanyahu stated. “We will continue to thwart and harm those who wish to harm us, and we will act against them with great intensity.
“Last year, the number of rockets from Gaza was the lowest in a decade, but we will not settle for that. We will continue to ensure the security of Israeli citizens in the south and throughout the country,” he added.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel should retake Gaza, from which Israel unilaterally withdrew in 2005.
“There is no escaping the full occupation of the Gaza Strip,” Liberman told Israeli TV’s Channel 2.
“The IDF will do everything in its power to fight Gaza terrorism and protect the people of Israel,” the IDF stated on its official blog.
IDF tanks reportedly reached Gaza by early evening.
Residents have been advised to remain in protective shelters until further notice.
Date: Mar. 12, 2014