1 Killed, More Than 20 Wounded, in Massive Gaza Rocket Barrage Against Southern Israel
One person was killed and at least 20 others were wounded in a massive Palestinian rocket barrage targeting southern Israel on Monday.
More than 400 projectiles were fired by terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip into the Jewish state in a coordinated assault that began at around 4:30 p.m. local time.
Homes in the southern cities of Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon were hit by rockets.
In Ashkelon, a man — a Palestinian in his 40s from the Hebron area — was killed and a woman was critically wounded.
Air raid sirens sounded as far away from Gaza as communities near the Dead Sea.
There was also an anti-tank missile strike on an Israeli bus near the Gaza border, in which an IDF soldier was seriously wounded.
The Israeli military said it was responding to the attacks with strikes throughout Gaza. At least three Palestinian terrorists have been killed in these strikes so far.
On Monday evening, the IDF announced it had bombed more than 70 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror targets.
תיעוד מתקיפות כוחותינו ברחבי רצועת עזה: pic.twitter.com/ky70qNS5dV
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 12, 2018
Later, IAF planes destroyed the building housing the studio of the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV station, knocking it off the air.
Monday’s events followed a surge of violence the previous day that was sparked by a botched IDF special forces operation in Gaza.
A Hamas commander, six other Palestinian terrorists and an IDF officer were killed in Sunday’s exchanges of fire.
In a statement published on Monday after the funerals of the terrorists were held and as the rocket offensive commenced, Hamas’ armed wing said, “In response to yesterday’s crime, the joint command of Palestinian factions announce the beginning of bombardment of the enemy’s settlements with scores of rockets.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a visit to Paris, where he had participated in World War I commemorations on Sunday, and returned home early Monday morning.
On Monday evening, Netanyahu held a security consultation at the Israeli military’s headquarters in Tel Aviv with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and other top defense officials.
US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, weighed in on the situation, tweeting, “Terrorists in Gaza are again attacking Israel with tools of war. These rocket & mortar attacks on Israeli towns must be condemned by all. Israel is forced once again into military action to defend its citizens. We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks.”
“Hamas’ activities continue to prove they don’t really care about the Palestinians of Gaza & their only interest is to use them for political purposes,” Greenblatt continued. “Even Palestinian lives seem not to matter to Hamas.”
“The world has grown tired of Hamas’ violence and the violence of other bad actors in Gaza. This violence prevents any real help for the people of Gaza,” he concluded.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tweeted, “Rocket attacks against #Israel & its civilian population are certainly not the way to solve any of Gaza’s problems & must stop immediately. It is of paramount importance that civilians are protected and violence is immediately stopped. AUT is fully committed to Israel’s security.”
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in Gaza over the past decade, the latest taking place in the summer of 2014.
Watch video below of the rocket attacks on Israel: