Rocket barrages fired from Gaza after IAF strikes Hamas targets

The incessant mortar fire from Gaza has led to rocket sirens going off in at least sixteen communities in southern Israel.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF, REUTERS
July 14, 2018 02:55
3 minute read.
Rocket interception

Rockets launched from Gaza Strip towards Israel is seen as rocket by Iron Dome anti-missile system is fired to intercept them. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Repeated rocket barrages were fired across Israel's southern communities from the Gaza Strip towards Israel late Friday evening in response to Israeli Air Force strikes.

The incessant mortar fire from Gaza led to rocket sirens going off in at least sixteen communities in southern Israel.
According to  the IDF Spokeperson's Unit, sirens sounded in the Sdot HaNegev Regional Council, Hof Ashkelon Regional council, Kerem Shalom and other communities in the south bordering Gaza.

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Palestinians from Gaza launched at least seventeen projectiles into Israel in which seven of the rockets were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome system, according to the IDF Spokeperson's Unit.
 
Reports stated at least two projectiles were intercepted over Sderot and one projectile landed in open areas outside Sderot with two projectiles landing between Kissufim and Kibbutz Ein hashlosa.

The mortar attacks from Gaza come as a retaliatory response to the bombing of targets in Gaza by Israeli Air Force jets.

The airstrikes were a retaliatory strike on a terror tunnel and other targets within the Gaza Strip in response to an IDF officer wounded on Friday by a grenade thrown by a fifteen-year-old Palestinian who was later shot and killed.

According to the Palestinian Information Center's official twitter account, one Palestinian from Gaza was killed in Friday evening's air strikes by the Israeli Air Force.

The officer was moderately injured during violent protests in the northern Gaza Strip, he was transferred to hospital for medical treatment and his name has not been made public. 

The IDF returned fire, and hit one of the attackers.

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Violent clashes took place along the security fence separating Israel and the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave over the course of  Friday.

"The rioters hurled grenades, explosive devices, firebombs and burned tires and hurled rocks towards the security fence and at IDF troops," the statement said.

Israeli soldiers shot dead Othman Rami Hilles, a Palestinian teenager who had been taking part in the border protests, Gaza medical officials said.

The Hamas-affiliated Gaza Health Ministry said the 15-year-old boy killed was shot in the chest. It said 70 others were wounded, at least 20 by live fire, and others by tear gas.


"During the violent riots, the forces identified an attempt to breach the security fence and infiltrate into Israel from the northern Gaza Strip and fired to stop the attempt," the IDF statement said, though it is not clear if this statement relates to the death of the Palestinian youth.

"The Hamas terror organization continues to send civilians to the security fence, endangering their lives by using them as a cover for terror acts," the statement continued. "The IDF will not allow security infrastructure or the security fence, which protects Israeli civilians, to be damaged, and will operate to prevent violent rioters and terrorists from doing so."

More than 130 Palestinians have been killed in the Israel-Gaza border protests which have entered their fourth month.

Palestinians say the protests are a popular outpouring of rage against Israel by Palestinians demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from during the war of 1948.

Israel says the demonstrations are organized by the Islamist terrorist group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip and denies Israel's right to exist.

As part of the protests, Palestinians have burned hundreds of acres of agricultural land near the border by sending kites carrying torches and helium balloons.

Tens of thousands took part when the protests were launched at several locations along the Gaza earlier in the summer, but the number has dropped significantly in the past several weeks and only a few thousand have participated recently.

Israel has accused Hamas of stoking the violence in an attempt to deflect domestic opinion from Gaza's energy shortages and faltering economy.

Israel maintains a naval blockade of Gaza and tight restrictions on the movement of people and goods at its land borders. Egypt has also kept its own Gaza frontier largely closed. Both countries cite security concerns for the measures, which have deepened economic hardship.

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