Palestinian terrorists launched some 55 mortars at Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, hitting structures in two places.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
On Tuesday morning, Palestinian terrorists fired a massive barrage of mortars at Israel, in the worst attack of its kind since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. One Israeli was lightly wounded in his hand by shrapnel.
At about 7 AM, as children were preparing to leave for school, Gaza-based terrorists fired multiple mortar shells at civilian targets in the Eshkol Regional Council, the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, and the Sdot Negev Regional Council, setting off sirens in these areas and sending thousands of civilians scrambling for cover.
The majority of the mortars fell in open spaces or were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.
Buildings in two communities were hit by the barrage. One of the buildings was a kindergarten. No children were present at the time of the attack.
While school buses were initially halted and everyone in the area was locked down in shelters, Israelis resumed their daily routines only minutes after the attack.
Exactly an hour later, sirens went off again, as the terrorists again launched several mortars at Israeli civilian targets. All the explosive projectiles exploded in open spaces.
A third barrage was fired at Israel at about 9:30. The mortars fell in open spaces.
Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, told IDF Radio that Israel has not experienced such a massive attack from Gaza since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
An Islamic Jihad Revenge
The attack was carried out by the Islamic Jihad terror organization, which vowed to avenge the death of three of its members killed by IDF tank fire on Sunday.
An Islamic Jihad spokesman stated after the attack that it was a “blessed response of the resistance.”
“The blood of our people is not cheap, Israel cannot spill it without deterrence,” he added.
Palestinian terrorists placed an explosive charge on the security fence between Gaza and Israel on Saturday night, attempting to harm IDF forces securing Israel’s border.
IDF troops on Sunday detonated the explosive device using a sapper’s robot. No IDF soldiers were injured in the incident. In response, an IDF tank targeted a military observation post in the southern Gaza Strip.
Three Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in the shelling, after which the Islamic Jihad vowed revenge.
“We know how to respond to this dangerous Israeli escalation and this is our right,” the terror organization stated.
Tuesday morning’s attack appears to be their reprisal attack.
This incident comes just hours after Palestinians in Gaza fired machine guns at Israeli aircraft flying over the Strip, sending rounds into the southern city of Sderot. Several buildings and structures were hit by the bullets. No one was injured.
The IDF has yet to respond to either incident.