By Anav Silverman
Tazpit News Agency
Since January of this year, Gaza terrorists have fired more than 450 rockets towards Israeli citizens in communities across southern Israel according to the IDF spokesperson. Over 200 of those rockets have been fired from Gaza since June 12, the day on which three Israeli teens were abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists.
At least 80 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel within 24 hours on Monday, July 27, with air raid sirens sounding throughout Monday night in southern Israel including the city of Ofakim and the Merhavim region. According to the IDF, 11 of the 80 rockets were shot down by Iron Dome system. The IDF spokesperson also stated that Hamas was responsible for launching a large majority of the rockets.
Thousands of Israelis in the south spent the night in bomb shelters. A number of Israeli radio stations from Tel Aviv and central Israel to Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod and even the Arava region broadcasted the rocket sirens overnight. This way, people who chose to sleep in their own beds instead of protected rooms were able to sleep in between the warning sirens and running for shelter.
A Hamas twitter account stated that the “mission” of the rockets was to shatter the calm and security of Israelis in retaliation to Israel targeting terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
Over 25 rockets targeted Israeli communities along the Gaza border on Sunday July 6, striking Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council and Sderot.
The Gaza rockets have injured Israelis, damaging homes, property and cars including a nursery room in Sderot on July 3 and burned down two factories to the ground in Sderot on June 28.
Palestinian terrorists have also carried out cross-border attacks from Gaza with a terrorist armed with a grenade infiltrating an Israeli village on June 22.
Meanwhile, the IDF Home Front Command announced on Monday that all summer camps and school-related activities including tests held at schools located within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip would be cancelled due to the threat of rocket fire. In addition, the IDF Home Front Command also limited groups of people gathering in the region to no more than 300 people at a time.
The national security adviser to the Israeli prime minister, Yaakov Amidror, stated that Hamas holds “about 10,000 rockets” and told Israel Channel 2 that Israelis “may be in for many more nights of rocket attacks but Hamas “does not have any kind of game-changing Doomsday weapon.”
The Israeli Air Force has struck multiple terror targets in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday morning since the IDF announced the launching of Operation Protective Edge (“Tzuk Eitan” in Hebrew). The IDF spokesperson stated the early hours of Tuesday morning that “the IDF has commenced Operation Protective Edge in Gaza against Hamas in order to stop the terror that Israel’s citizens face on a daily basis and to restore quiet to Israel’s border.”