IDF IAF fighter jet takes off airstrik air strike 311 (R).
(photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)
Despite a significant increase in rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the IDF does
not anticipate a larger escalation, defense sources said Thursday after two
Gradmodel Katyusha rockets slammed into southern Israel late Wednesday
The first rocket exploded near Kiryat Gat and a second one inside
Ashkelon city limits, causing damage to a road.
IAF strikes several Gaza targets following Kassam attack
IAF strikes terror targets in Gaza after Kassam attack
In response, the IAF
bombed two targets in northern Gaza and a smuggling tunnel in the
Residents in areas in which sirens were heard rushed into safe
areas and shelters to take cover. Five people were lightly wounded while running
for shelter and were evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
Monday, a woman from a Beduin village was moderately injured by shrapnel from a
Palestinian rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza.
According to IDF
estimates, the rockets were fired by terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qaida
and global jihad elements, and not by Hamas or Islamic Jihad, even though the
larger groups likely turned a blind eye to the rocket fire.
In total, 25
rockets have been fired since the beginning of July, compared to four in
Israel understands the increase in rocket fire as Hamas’s way to
vent its frustration with the failure of the reconciliation agreement it had
reached with Fatah earlier this year and with Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to unilaterally declare statehood at the United Nations in
September without its participation.