Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel continued on Monday, after more than 120 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on Sunday.
The Iron Dome intercepted three of four rockets fired at Ashkelon on Monday morning. One rocket directly hit an empty school building; classes in the south have been cancelled since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense last week.
IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai said Monday that Hamas’ rocket fire on Israel has been reduced by 40 percent. Mordechai added that the IDF attacked 40 arms smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. The IDF targeted six rocket crews between Sunday night and Monday morning, Mordechai said.
Early monday afternoon, a rocket struck near a house in Ashkelon. Two people in the area were treated for shock. Six other rockets were launched at the same time, all intercepted by the Iron Dome.
On Sunday, around 90 rockets total were fired into the Eshkol and Shaar Hanegev regions, inflicting damage to buildings, homes, vehicles and water infrastructure.
Two Grad rockets struck in Ofakim, just west of Beersheba. One struck a car at the entrance to the city, wounding five people, including a two-year-old girl and her parents. The other hit a home in the city, wounding one person.
Beersheba was also hit twice on Sunday by Grad rockets. One exploded next to a residential building and caused property damage, while the other hit a nearby street.
Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin called Sunday the toughest day his city has experienced since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense.
At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, a volley of five rockets was fired at Ashkelon. Three of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, while two hit populated areas of the city. A few hours later, another five-rocket volley was fired at Ashkelon, and again two exploded in built-up areas.
In one case, a rocket directly hit the roof of a four-floor building in Ashkelon and penetrated through the third floor. No damage was evident from the outside of the building, but there was major internal damage.
Up the coast in Ashdod, warning sirens sounded 11 times on Sunday, as more than 20 rockets were fired at the city over the course of the day. The Iron Dome intercepted most of the rockets, but three made it through and hit buildings.
In Tel Aviv, warning sirens sounded twice on Sunday, once in the morning and once in the evening.
In the morning, two rockets were intercepted in the Tel Aviv area by the Iron Dome. The remnants of one of the intercepted rockets fell on a car in Holon, causing it to catch fire, and the engine of one of the rockets fell in the yard of a home in Holon. No one was injured in these incidents.
“I felt something hit my car and I thought maybe someone had bumped me,” the driver of the car said. “I kept going until I saw smoke coming from the hood of the car.”
Firefighters arrived at the scene and put out the fire within minutes.
Shortly after 6:30 p.m., Tel Aviv area residents were roused again from their routine by a warning siren. The Iron Dome intercepted the rocket fired from Gaza.
Meanwhile on Sunday at around 11 p.m., an explosion was heard in the far-southern resort city of Eilat. Police and military forces initiated a search for rocket remnants. Global Jihadists claimed responsibility for firing a rocket toward the city.
Source: Israel Hayom