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March 12, 2014 1:42 pm

Army Chief Rushes Back to Israel as IDF Tanks Return Fire After Massive Rocket Barrage Hits Israel (VIDEO)

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A rocket from the Gaza Strip that fell in southern Israel. Photo: Twitter.

Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz rushed back to Israel from the U.S. on Wednesday as Israeli tanks fired at targets in the Gaza Strip after a massive barrage of rockets hit Southern Israel on Wednesday evening, Israeli Army radio reported.

The IDF responded to the rocket strikes by targeting two terror locations in the northern and southern Gaza Strip, the IDF posted on Twitter.

Terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip launched at least 60 rockets at Israeli population centers around 5 p.m. local time in the single biggest such attack since Israel’s 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense. Most of the rockets struck open fields, one hit a southern Israeli town near Gaza and one landed in Sderot.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, saying it was in response to the death of three of its operatives, who were killed Tuesday in an Israeli Air Force strike, after firing mortar shells at IDF positions.

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A video posted Wednesday on Facebook shows multiple rockets being fired from a populated area in Gaza into Israel.

Gantz’s official visit in the U.S. began on Sunday. The trip included several work meetings and a keynote address at the annual Friends of the IDF Gala Dinner in New York Tuesday night. It is not clear if his trip was cut short.

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