A piece of a rocket that fell near Ashkelon.
(photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
As Israel's ground incursion into the Gaza Strip enters its second day, Palestinian rocket fire on major cities continues unabated.
The Iron Dome anti-rocket battery intercepted at least nine Palestinian rockets over the metropolitan Tel Aviv area Friday evening.
The first salvo of four rockets were shot down just before sundown while five more projectiles were intercepted after the start of the Jewish Sabbath.
The system has also shot down over two dozen Palestinian rockets that were launched on Friday at Israeli towns in the south, including Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheba, the Eshkol regional council, and the Gaza frontier communities.
Since the early morning hours on Friday, Palestinians in Gaza have launched 100 rockets at Israel.
The Home Front Command issued warnings on Friday and restricted school activities for children in Ashkelon to underground bomb shelters. In Tel Aviv, according to a report by Channel 2, orders were made to restrict large gatherings greater than 1,000 people over the weekend as the central city and communities in the South continued to be targeted by rockets while the IDF commenced a ground offensive in Gaza.
On Friday morning, a barrage of 7 rockets were intercepted over the city of Ashdod and several more fell in open territories outside the city for which police commenced a search to confirm the falls.
Malls in Ashkelon were declared off limits to residents at least until after Saturday night and food was delivered to residents confined to bomb shelters.
The heightened security measures in the South also come after IDF forces foiled an attempt by Hamas terrorists
to infiltrate a kibbutz near the Gaza frontier through an underground tunnel on Thursday. Field intelligence units monitoring the border area identified 13 terrorists who exited a tunnel near Kibbutz Sufa and the army said it “neutralized the threat” with an air strike on the cell, and released video footage of the tunnel exit being blown up seconds after the terrorists are seen retreating underground.