Medical officials in southern Israel announced the death of a four-year-old Israeli boy who suffered serious injuries when a mortar launched from the northern Gaza Strip directly slammed into a car before sundown on Friday.
According to Channel 10, Magen David Adom rescue services rushed the boy to hospital, listing him in grave condition. A short time later, the boy was pronounced dead.
The incident occurred in a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council. According to Channel 2, Palestinians in Gaza fired a barrage of mortars at the kibbutz, one of which exploded in a location near where the boy, who was later identified as Daniel Tregerman, was standing.
The boy sustained serious injuries, and rescue services rushed him to hospital. A short time later, he was pronounced dead.
At first, the IDF said that the rocket launched from Gaza that killed the boy came from an UNRWA school. However, later on, they retracted the statement and said that the site it was launched from was in Hamas's control. UNRWA also denied the claim.
After sundown on Friday, a rocket which struck a highway near Gan Yavneh left one man critically injured. Three others were lightly hurt and rushed to hospital for treatment. A number of motorists were treated for shock.
Rocket sirens were activated in Tel Aviv just before sundown on Friday as Palestinians in Gaza launched at least three projectiles at central Israel.
Witnesses reported hearing at least three explosions overhead. No word yet on whether any injuries or damage resulted from the incident.
Sirens were also heard in the adjacent suburbs of Tel Aviv, including Ramat Gan, Holon, Bat Yam, and Givatayim.
Earlier Friday, a rocket fired by Palestinians in Gaza slammed into a synagogue in the southern city of Ashdod, injuring three people.
According to police, the injuries resulted from flying shrapnel immediately after impact. The Magen David Adom rescue service reported that two people were lightly hurt and one moderately injured. Eight others were treated for shock.
Earlier Friday morning, a mortar shell landed near a preschool in southern Israel's Eshkol Regional Council during continued barrages of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
In Beersheba two rockets were intercepted over the city while a third exploded in a residential parking lot, wounding one person, police reported. The man was rushed to the hospital in moderate condition from shrapnel wounds. Several vehicles in the vicinity sustained damages.
Another rocket landed in open areas of the greater Tel Aviv area.
In Sderot, a rocket directly struck a home, causing damage. No injuries were reported, as the family residing in the home rushed to a bomb-proof shelter. Three people were treated for shock.
From midnight until 4:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, some 70 projectiles from Gaza were fired into Israel and the Iron Dome rocket defense system executed eight interceptions, the IDF spokesperson said.
Rocket alert sirens blared throughout the morning in the South with 26 rockets launched so far at Israel by mid-day from the Gaza Strip. The Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted five rockets and 21 struck open areas in Israel.
Sirens went off in the Eshkol Regional Council, the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, Ashkelon and Beersheba.
Meanwhile, the IDF continued its campaign against terrorist elements in the Gaza Strip for a third day since a temporary cease-fire collapsed on Tuesday night with the resumption of rocket attacks from Gaza.
The air force struck some 30 targets across Gaza on Friday from midnight until 4:00 p.m, the IDF said. Since Tuesday, the IAF killed 23 terrorists in Gaza.
Palestinian medical sources reported that one person was killed during the overnight air force strikes in central Gaza's Deir al-Balah.
On Friday morning, Palestinian sources in Gaza reported that four additional people had been killed in Israeli air strikes in the enclave.
After the killing of three of its senior commanders by Israel on Thursday, Hamas vowed early Friday
that it would be “strengthened” in its quest “to lift the siege on Gaza” and “liberate Jerusalem and Palestine from the neo-Nazi occupier who destroys houses and kills women and children.”
Despite the ongoing hostilities, Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas was expected to arrive Friday evening in Cairo and hold talks over the weekend with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and to discuss developments regarding the Gaza conflict.
Hamas official Izzat al-Risheq, however, denied reports that exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was also slated to visit the Egyptian capital.
On Thursday, Abbas and Mashaal met in Doha
to discuss ways of resuming the indirect talks with Israel over a long-term cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. The meeting was held in the presence of the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
After fighting resumed, Israeli and Palestinian delegates left indirect negotiation in Cairo that were aiming to secure a long-term truce. Egypt said it would continue contact with both sides.
Khaled Abu Toameh, Yaakov Lappin and Reuters contributed to this report.
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