Rockets explode across southern Israel, but IDF takes out numerous terror targets.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Terrorists in Gaza fired waves of rockets at Israeli towns and cities on Sunday in the seventh consecutive day of bombardment that began last Monday with an attack on Jerusalem.
Heavy barrages of rocket fire by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups sped toward the southern cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon and the surrounding towns and farming communities.
Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted most of the rockets. A few did get through but without causing serious injury.
In the small city of Netivot, between the Gaza Strip and Beer Sheba, security cameras recorded how one rocket exploded in the street beside a gas station, narrowly missing the gas pumps and a driver who stopped his car and ran for cover just before the explosion.
Residents of Netivot, only 6 miles from the Gaza border, have only 15 seconds to get to shelter before the rocket explodes once radar detects one is on the way.
On Saturday, one man was killed in the city of Ramat Gan during a barrage on the heavily populated Tel Aviv region when a Hamas rocket exploded in the street.
In response, the Israel Air Force attacked Hamas military targets, including dozens of rocket launching sites, weapons stores, military tunnels and the home of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.
In a briefing to reporters, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman said the IDF began the second stage of its strikes on the Hamas tunnel infrastructure and more attacks would follow, adding he expected the fighting to continue, Ynet reported.
Zilberman said dozens of medium and long-range rocket launchers were destroyed, and that given the destruction of rockets Hamas was now “starting to calculate how many to launch.”
An Israeli source rejected reports that the U.S. was leaning on Israel to accept a ceasefire.
“There are still no concrete proposals for a ceasefire, and there are calls [for a ceasefire] at only low volume,” the source told Ynet.
Earlier, Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr, who was sent by Washington to mediate along with U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Jonathan Shrier, who is the acting U.S. ambassador to Israel as the position vacated by former Ambassador David Friedman has yet to be filled.
The U.S. Embassy Jerusalem tweeted that Amr’s goal was “to work toward a sustainable calm, recognizing Israel’s right to self-defense.”
“Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, security, dignity and prosperity,” the embassy said.