IDF reinforces troops along Gaza border

58-year-old man killed by rocket fire; over 600 rockets fired; 220 targets struck in Gaza.

The IDF prepares for expected escalations throughout the weekend along the Gaza border, 2019. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
The IDF prepares for expected escalations throughout the weekend along the Gaza border, 2019.
The IDF has reinforced troops along the Gaza border after over 600 rockets were fired towards southern Israel by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) from the Gaza Strip, killing one man and injuring close to 50 others.
According to the IDF troops from the 7th armored brigade “which would be ready to act as an offensive force within the Gaza Division.”
Moshe Agadi, a father of four, was killed when a rocket struck his home in Ashkelon when he went out to smoke a cigarette.
He was struck by shrapnel to his stomach and chest and was taken by Magen David Adom teams to Barzilai hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Speaking on Army Radio, his brother Shai Agadi, said that he “went out to smoke a cigarette between barrage and barrage [of rockets] and didn’t make it in time to the rocket shelter. They tried to resuscitate him but they lost him on the way to the hospital.”
“We don’t know how to continue from here. If Moshe was here he would have given us hope. We are helpless,” he added.
According to the military, 180 rockets were fired at Israel between 10.30pm to 05.30am bringing the total of rockets fired towards Israel since fighting began Saturday morning to about 430.
The military said that 70% of rockets fell in open areas and over 250 were shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The IDF said it stuck some 230 targets belonging to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad across the Strip in retaliation for the rockets fired towards Israel since Saturday morning.
The targets struck by Israel’s military overnight included rocket launchers and a Hamas military position in the northern Gaza Strip.
The targets also included dozens of private homes belonging to Hamas and PIJ commanders. Attack tunnels, military compounds and emplacements, storage houses and weapons factories belonging to Hamas and PIJ.
Israel’s navy also struck several naval targets belonging to the two groups.
According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, 11 Palestinians have been killed since Friday, the day before the current escalation with Israel began.
Three of the fatalities were identified as Hamas militants and three from PIJ.
On a call with reporters on Sunday IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis denied that the woman and child were killed in an IAF airstrikes on Saturday night but by a Gaza rocket which exploded prematurely.
On Sunday morning the two groups threatened to increase the range of the rocket fire, saying in a joint statement that they are considering firing rockets to cities over 40 kilometers from the blockaded coastal enclave.
“A barrage of about 50 rockets was fired at the area of Ashkelon, and we are weighing increasing the fire to more than 40 kilometers in the coming hours if the aggression continues,” the statement said.
Due to the ongoing rocket fire and threats by the groups to increase their range, the city of Rishon Letzion south of Tel Aviv opened municipal bomb shelters.
While Israel has closed all crossings into Gaza and suspended the fishing zone off of the enclave’s coast, according to Kan news fuel is still being allowed through the Kerem Shalom crossing for the Strip’s sole power plant. The report said that this was to prevent any further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this story.