Palestinian terrorists fired 92 rockets from Gaza into southern Israel since Friday night, leaving eight Israelis injured in the heaviest series of attacks in months. The barrages came in response to an IAF strike which killed the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted at least five rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon early Saturday morning. In total, 25 rockets have been intercepted by the system since the beginning of the escalation on Friday.

A Palestinian rocket fired from Gaza landed in Beersheba early Saturday morning, activating air raid sirens and sending residents fleeing for cover. Police said that the rocket caused damage to a building. No injuries were reported in that attack.

In the Be'er Tuvia area, police located a rocket explosion site. The windows of a home were shattered and a car was damaged. No injuries were reported.

In the Eshkol Regional Council area, a 40-year-old man was seriously injured in the attacks. A second man was moderately injured by shrapnel to his stomach and a third was lightly injured. Paramedics said the injured appeared to be foreign workers. An electric pole and a vehicle were also damaged in the attack.

Two additional people were lightly injured in a car accident that occurred during an air raid siren at the Emunim Junction between Ashdod and Ashkelon. Three other people in the South were lightly injured while fleeing for cover during sirens, and one civilian was being treated for shock.



The injured were taken to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot and the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, as well as the Soroka Medical Center in Be'ersheba.

The IAF struck targets in Gaza overnight Friday and Saturday morning in response to the rocket attacks. 14 Palestinians - 10 of them members of Islamic Jihad - were killed in the strikes and another 20 were injured, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) swiftly called for retaliation following the first IAF strike that killed Qaisi, as well as senior PRC member Ahmad Hanini. A third man was also injured in the attack. The IAF struck a vehicle in a move to thwart a large-scale terror attack that was in its last stages of preparation, according to the IDF spokesperson.



Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Israel was responsible for what he called "a grave escalation."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also condemned the strike.

The IDF stated that the attack was part of an operation to thwart the intentions of terrorists to carry out terror attacks in Sinai, along the border between Israel and Egypt. Qaisi had been planning and leading over the past few days, a major terror attack against Israeli targets, and the strike was conducted in order to prevent the attack, the IDF said in a statement.

It added that the IDF was not interested in escalation but was ready to defend Israel and would respond forcefully and decisively against against any attempt at terrorist activity.

Reuters contributed to this report

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