|Photo by: IDF Spokesman's Office|
Palestinians fire 92 rockets at southern Israel
By YAAKOV LAPPIN AND JPOST.COM STAFF
Escalation in South: 8 Israelis hurt, 1 seriously as terrorists continue attacks after IAF strike kills PRC chief; Iron Dome intercepts 25 rockets; Palestinians: 14 killed, 20 injured in Gaza.
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.
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.
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.
were taken to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot and the Barzilai
Medical Center in Ashkelon, as well as the Soroka Medical Center in
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
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Israel was responsible for what he called "a grave escalation."
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also condemned the strike.
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