Update:Over 100 rockets hit Israel IDF Targets Weapons Facilities
Ah.. Peace, a word that can only be described as elusive and impossible when terrorists want to "blow your house down."
Egypt was working late Saturday night to mediate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel following two days of rocket attacks out of the Gaza Strip and surgical IAF retaliations. Meanwhile, both the rocket attacks and IAF strikes continued well into Saturday night as the IDF targeted a storage facility for weapons in the Gaza Strip.
Israel Radio quoted Hamas spokesman Taher Al-Nunu as saying that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was participating in the negotiations, brokered by Egypt. He reportedly added that Hamas was awaiting Israel’s reaction and that negotiations regarding the rocket-launching on the Palestinian side could take place only when Israeli attacks in Gaza come to a halt. Earlier on Saturday, Egypt condemned the IAF strikes in Gaza and called for an end to the violence.
The southern Israeli cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba fell under a barrage of rockets Saturday evening as the second day of violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip — the worst in a year — raged on. Two Grad rockets were intercepted over Ashkelon by the Iron Dome missile defense system, but shrapnel caused damage to a house in the city. In Ashdod, a mare was killed as a house in the city suffered a direct hit. Alarms and explosions sounded in Israel’s southern cities throughout Saturday evening, resulting in a decision to keep schools closed on Sunday within a radius of 7-40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip. As of Saturday night, schools were to remain closed in Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot, Kiryat Gat, Ofakim, Beer Tuvia, Yavne and Gedera.
The southern Israeli cities of Ashdod and Beersheba fell under a barrage of rockets Saturday evening as the second day of violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip – the worst in a year – raged on.
Alarms and explosions were heard in Ashdod and Beersheba early Saturday evening, resulting in a decision by both cities’ municipalities to keep schools closed on Sunday. As of Saturday night, schools were to remain closed in Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot, Kiryat Gat, Ofakim, Beer Tuvia, Yavne and Gedera.
Earlier on Saturday, 15 terrorists were killed in the Gaza Strip in IAF strikes. Throughout the day, terrorists responded by firing 135 rockets into Israeli territory, 74 of which hit Israel – an average of three rockets per hour over a timespan of thirty hours, according to the IDF Spokesperson. One Israeli civilian was seriously wounded as a result.
The IDF estimates that over 90 rockets have been fired at Israel since Friday, some 65 exploded in the south. Meanwhile, a new Israeli air strike in Gaza killed two Palestinians riding on a motorcyle, Hamas officials and medics said on Saturday.
The attack followed the firing of rockets at Israel at the weekend, raises the death toll in escalating violence since Friday to 14.
IDF kills terror chief Earlier Saturday, Gaza sources claimed 12 Palestinians have been killed in IDF attacks overnight, including a commander of the militant group behind the abduction of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was held captive for more than five years and freed in a prisoner swap for more than 1,000 Palestinians.
The Israeli military said it initially targeted Zuhair al-Qaissi, the commander of the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committee, a large militant group closely aligned with Gaza's Hamas rulers. The explosion tore apart al-Qaissi's blue sedan and killed his son-in-law, Mahmoud Hanini - himself a top PRC field commander.
Four people were injured in Eshkol Regional Council, including one critical injury and another mildly injured.
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