The army struck Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip with air strikes and artillery fire late Monday night after a rocket fired earlier towards the southern city of Ashkelon was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Incoming rocket alarm sirens blared across communities surrounding the Gaza Strip Monday night, from Netiv Ha’asara near the Gaza border, to Be’er Ganim on the outskirts of Ashkelon, some 20 km. from the Hamas-run enclave.
No one was injured and no damage was caused as a result of the fire and interception.
Edna, a resident of Ashkelon, told The Jerusalem Post
on Tuesday that it was the first time that she heard a siren and an interception in the city since the last conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip in 2014.
“My two sons were sleeping when the siren went off and we don’t have a bomb shelter in my building,” she told the Post
. “It was the first time since the last war and it was frightening. If the situation continues like this, the next city to be hit could be Tel Aviv.”
Map showing where sirens were heard in Southern Israel because of rocket attack, courtesy of Seth J. Frantzman:
Another Ashkelon resident told the Post
that he also doesn’t have a bomb shelter in his building and that he has become used to sirens.
“We just keep on going,” 54-year-old Yuda said over a coffee. “Every few years something happens with Hamas. We got used to it. But this time it’s because of Trump.”
Tensions along the border with the Gaza Strip have been high as of late, after US President Donald Trump announced that the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. His declaration set off riots across the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.
Several rockets have been fired towards Israeli territory over the past week with the IDF retaliating against Hamas targets in the Strip with air strikes and artillery fire.
Sirens sounded in communities across southern Israel Friday night after rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip. According to the army, one rocket was intercepted and another hit the southern city of Sderot, damaging a kindergarten and several vehicles but causing no injuries.
Israel holds Hamas solely responsible for all rocket fire launched from the Strip and in response to the rocket fire the IDF struck a Hamas military compound, a weapons warehouse and two other sites where the terrorist group manufacturers weapons. Hamas confirmed that two of its jihadists were killed in the bombings and another 25 people, including several children, were wounded.
The IDF announced on Sunday that they had neutralized a large Hamas tunnel
which had infiltrated into Israeli territory from Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip.
In response, Hamas threatened that “the enemy must be afraid and know it will pay a price for breaking the rules of engagement with the Gaza resistance. The coming days will prove the enormity of the enemy’s mistake and miscalculation as to the resistance’s willpower.”
Hamas has called for a new intifada and the rocket fired on Ashkelon came shortly after the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’s Quds Force, Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, offered Iran’s support to the Palestinians.
According to the IRGC’s website, Sepah News, Soleimani made the offer Monday night during a telephone conversation with commanders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Izzadin Kassam Brigades – the armed wing of Hamas. Sepah noted that Soleimani had also stated that other “resistance forces” in the region were ready to support Palestinians.