An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The IDF confirmed intercepting two rockets over the city of Sderot on Wednesday night after a barrage of rockets was launched toward southern Israel for the sixth night in a row.
While the rockets did not cause any damage, according to Magen David Adom a 30-year-old man sustained light injuries to his leg while running to a shelter in Sderot and two others were treated by paramedics for shock.
Two rockets were intercepted over Sderot and a third rocket landed in open territory in Eshkol Regional Council, causing no damage or injuries.
Another rocket hit failed to reach Israel, instead damaging an UNRWA school in Beit Hanun, in northeastern Gaza.
"I expect the prime minister, the defense minister and the chief of staff to strike at the terror organizations mercilessly," Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said. "We will not tolerate continued firing at Sderot. This drop in the bucket [in response] is not a viable plan.
In response, the Erez and Kerem Shalom Crossings to Gaza will be closed tomorrow, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit announced.
"In light of the security events and the assessment of the situation, it was decided the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Erez crossing will not be open tomorrow."
Tensions along Israel's 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.
Militant groups in Gaza, including Hamas, have called for a new Palestinian uprising — or intifada — over Trump’s statement.
Over a dozen rockets have also been fired toward Israeli territory over the past week, and while Israeli defense officials believe that Islamic Jihad terrorists are responsible for the rocket fire, the IDF retaliates against Hamas targets in the Strip with air strikes and artillery fire.
“In response to the rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel earlier today, the IAF targeted a Hamas military compound in the southern Gaza Strip,” read the statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
On Tuesday evening the Color Red rocket-warning siren sounded around 10:45 in Kibbutz Zikim, Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and Moshav Netiv Ha’asara, near the Strip’s northern border with Israel in the Hof Ashkelon region.
A rocket was found by security officials Wednesday morning in an open area near Netiv Ha’asara, causing no damage or injuries. A police bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion of the rocket.
Earlier on Tuesday two Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in what was initially blamed on an Israeli drone strike. The group later posted a statement on its website saying that the two men were on a “jihadist mission” and did not explicitly blame their deaths on Israel.
On Monday night, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket fired toward the city of Ashkelon, with the IDF retaliating almost immediately with air strikes and artillery fire toward Hamas positions. According to residents in Ashkelon, it was the first time in three years they heard an incoming rocket-warning siren followed by an interception in three years.
Sirens sounded in communities across southern Israel on Friday night, after rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip. According to the army, one rocket was intercepted and another hit Sderot, damaging a kindergarten and several vehicles but causing no injuries.
While Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire, IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis has said that Israel has seen Hamas as “taking active measures to prevent further rocket fire.”
The IDF announced on Sunday that it had destroyed a large Hamas tunnel that had infiltrated 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.”Jpost.com staff contributed to this report