|Children walk past bomb shelter in Sderot 370.(Photo by: Hadas Parush)|
Schools to remain closed in South despite quiet
By YAAKOV LAPPIN AND JPOST.COM STAFF
Fragile cease-fire pervades overnight after 5 rockets hit South.
The Home Front Command decided that schools in southern Israel would remain closed on Thursday despite a night of quiet throughout Israel. A fragile sense of calm pervaded the South after terrorists in Gaza fired five rockets toward it in the two hours that followed the 9 p.m. truce deadline. Since 11 p.m. no rocket attacks were reported.
The IDF implemented cease-fire orders on Wednesday night following a week-long
operation during which it struck heavy blows on Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but
warned that it would respond immediately if civilians or military forces
continued to come under attack.
In the hours leading up the cease-fire, the
Palestinians in Gaza continued to fire rockets at Israel as the air force
responded by launching strikes on terrorist operatives in the Strip. Channel 10 reported that two people in Netivot were lightly injured by
shrapnel and that one rocket hit a house in Beersheba, causing damage
but no injuries.
rockets struck in open areas, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The IDF said that two rockets were intercepted.
“The IDF has received a cease-fire
order. Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz is sending the [new] orders to the Southern Command. We
remain on standby,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai
Mordechai added that the IDF would hold its fire “unless there is
fire against civilians or our forces, in which case we will respond.”
Rocket fire critically wounded a reserve
soldier in the South earlier on Wednesday. His condition was said to be
IDF is currently examining the implementation of a gradual release of the
thousands of reservists called up during the operation Southern cities were once
again subject to heavy rocket blows on Wednesday, with Beersheba, Ashdod, Be’er
Tuviya, and rural districts near Gaza all coming under sustained attack. Some 80
rockets were fired into Israel on Wednesday, bringing the total since the start
of the operation on November 14 to 1,506. A number of homes sustained direct
strikes in the attacks.
Four soldiers were lightly wounded by a rocket in
the Eshkol region and airlifted to Soroka University Medical Center in
Since the beginning of the operation, most of the rockets,
875, exploded in open territory, while 58 hit built-up areas.
Dome system intercepted 84 percent – 421 – of the rockets headed for city
Hamas lost its military commander, Ahmed Jabari, 30 field
commanders and most of its long-range strategic rockets in the operation, as
well as thousands of medium-range rockets and launchers.
their weapons production and development, with a focus on their drone project,”
He expressed his condolences to the families of five
Israelis killed by Palestinian rocket fire, and sent get-well wishes to the 240
The IDF believes that the test of Israeli deterrence will
be measured in the coming weeks, rather than hours or days.
The IAF hit
about 1,500 targets across Gaza throughout the operation, destroying 140
smuggling tunnels, 60 bomb tunnels and dozens of Hamas command and control
Top terrorists killed include Habas Masmah, a senior Hamas
police figure, Khaled Sha’ar, a senior Hamas anti-tank missile operator, and
Ramaz Harb, the Islamic Jihad spokesman in Gaza City.
On Wednesday night,
an explosion was heard in the Azuz area on the border with Egypt. IDF soldiers
were scanning the area.
On Wednesday, the IAF hit more than 120 targets,
and a terrorist was killed by fire from a navy vessel off the Gaza
The Israel Air Force struck some 100 terrorist attacks overnight
Wednesday, including a floor in a Gaza media building that Hamas used as its
A central Hamas command center, a police
station, and a hideout for senior terrorists in southern Gaza were all hit in
the air strikes.
A Hamas aerial defense operation was targeted in an air
strike, as was a terrorist seen firing a long-range rocket at Jerusalem on
Tuesday. The navy struck several rocket launching areas, a Hamas position, and a
building used to coordinate Hamas activities.
The IAF continued to hit
underground rocket launchers on Wednesday, and struck tunnels used to transfer
fuel to Gaza, which is then used for Hamas terrorist activities.
A previous version of this article stated that 20 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on Wednesday night after the cease-fire came into effect. The IDF has since clarified that only five rockets were fired, two of which were intercepted.