May 6, 2019
Four Israelis Killed by Barrage of Gaza Rockets on Israel – Almog Ben Zikri
Moshe Agadi, 58, a green grocer in the Ashkelon market and father of four, died after being struck by shrapnel from rocket fire in the city of Ashkelon on Saturday. Ziad Alhamada, 49, was killed after a rocket hit a factory where he worked in Ashkelon. Moshe Feder, 67, died after his car was hit by an anti-tank missile as he was driving near the Gaza border. American-Israeli Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, 21, was killed by shrapnel from a rocket that landed in the backyard of a building in Ashdod.
Among those injured were two workers at the Ashkelon factory where Alhamada died, a 30-year-old Thai national, A 45-year-old man in the Bedouin town of Laqiya, a 50-year-old man whose home was hit by a rocket in Ashkelon, and an 80-year-old woman whose house was hit in Kiryat Gat. (Ha’aretz)
- Israeli Kindergarten Heavily Damaged by Palestinian Rocket – Judah Ari Gross
Officials in the Israeli town of Sderot said Sunday that a rocket launched from Gaza on Saturday exploded outside a kindergarten, sending rocket fragments smashing through walls, windows and furniture inside. The kindergarten was empty at the time. (Times of Israel)
- Rocket Shrapnel Hits Ashkelon Hospital
Rocket shrapnel hit the oncology wing at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon after the Iron Dome intercepted a rocket over Israeli territory. No injuries were reported. (Jerusalem Post)
- See also Video: Ashkelon Hospital under Fire, Moves Premature Babies to Bomb Shelter (StandWithUs)
IDF Thwarts Hamas Cyber Attack – Judah Ari Gross (Times of Israel)
The IDF thwarted a cyber attack by Hamas over the weekend. The commander of the IDF’s Cyber Division said the attempt was not particularly advanced and “We were a step ahead of them the whole time.”
Once the digital threat was neutralized, fighter jets destroyed the building housing the headquarters of Hamas’ cyber unit.
Gen. Amidror: Iran behind Gaza Escalation – Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
Iran, through Islamic Jihad – its proxy in Gaza – is behind the current escalation, former Israeli National Security Advisor Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror said on Sunday.
Amidror traced the current round of massive rocket fire on Israel to Friday, when Islamic Jihad fired on Israeli soldiers patrolling the Gaza border, wounding two officers. Israel responded and killed two Hamas men – and then the rocket barrage began from Gaza.
Why did Islamic Jihad fire on the soldiers? “The answer is again and again and again – Iran,” Amidror said.
Islamic Jihad is a completely owned and operated Iranian subsidiary. “It was established by Iran, financed by Iran, and does what Iran wants it to do.”
Iran’s interest is for Israel to embark on another major operation in Gaza, freeing up Iran to do what it wants unhindered in Syria, Amidror said.
See also Power Targets: IDF Destroys Houses of Islamic Jihad Commanders
The IDF destroyed the houses of Islamic Jihad commanders on Sunday morning as Palestinian rockets rained on Israeli communities near Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)
See also IDF Destroys Hamas Interior Minister’s Office – Tamar Beeri
On Sunday evening, IDF fighter jets attacked the office of Twafiq Abu Naim, the interior minister and head of the security services of Hamas, in Nuseirat in Gaza, according to the IDF spokesperson. Abu Naim was jailed by Israel in 1991 and released in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal. (Jerusalem Post)
- The current flare-up in Gaza is characterized by new methods of warfare used by both sides.
- Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other smaller terror groups have introduced a new locally-produced rocket which can reach only a few kilometers into Israel but is tipped with a uniquely heavy warhead. These rockets – called Burkan – were first developed in Syria and their warheads usually contain dozens of kilograms of explosives.
- The terror groups thought the rocket would surprise the residents of Israeli communities near the Gaza border, but due to the rockets’ lack of precision, most of them landed in open spaces or failed to make it into Israeli territory altogether.
- The IDF has attacked almost exclusively what are labeled “power targets.” These include multi-storey buildings with military installations, buildings serving as headquarters for the terror groups, and even private homes of the factions’ leaders, leaving them without a roof over their heads on the eve of the Ramadan holiday.
- The IDF also strikes terror cells launching rockets and has killed at least eight terror operatives.