Overnight Thursday, Hamas launched 12 rockets from the Gaza Strip towards communities in southern Israel, one of which caused serious damage to a home in Sderot.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Overnight Thursday, Hamas launched 12 rockets from the Gaza Strip towards communities in southern Israel, one of which caused serious damage to a home in Sderot. No Israeli casualties were reported.
An IDF spokeswoman said the Iron Dome missile system intercepted nine of 12 rockets.
Shlomi Malka, whose home in Sderot was nearly destroyed, spoke to local media about the event, which occurred in the early hours of Friday morning.
Malka explained that he and his wife Osnat were asleep and did not wake up during the siren, which warns residents to immediately take cover in a bomb shelter.
‘It’s a miracle [that we survived],” Malka told Ynet. “We didn’t hear the siren at all, the explosion woke us up.”
“It cut our house in two. Suddenly, we heard explosions and smelled smoke. We ran to the police station. It was only after we left that we saw the destruction [to the home].”
It’s unclear whether the Malkas’ home was struck by a rocket or shrapnel from an Iron Dome interception.
“It is a huge miracle that the rocket, or whatever it was, did not cause greater damage,” he told Israel Hayom.
“I have no doubt that had the rocket continued its journey past my house and continued toward my neighbor’s house, more damage would have been done, possibly to human life.”
MDA paramedics responded to three people suffering from panic attacks nearby and provided first aid to a 52-year-old woman who sustained injuries while running to a shelter.
President Reuven Rivlin responded to the attacks with a statement of support. “We are with the people of the south, full of appreciation for their resilience,” he said.
“We will not stand aside while Hamas rages. The IDF responds with force and determination, in strike after strike, and will continue to do so.”
On Friday morning, the IDF’s Southern Command held a security situational assessment meeting led by Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, along with other senior security and military officials.
After the meeting, they announced that the IDF will increase its troop presence in the south, deploy additional Iron Dome batteries, and step up surveillance along the Gaza border.
Egypt, Qatar, and the UN are currently reaching out to Hamas in an effort to facilitate a truce between the terror group and the state of Israel.
“The Egyptians, the Qataris, and [UN Middle East envoy] Nickolay Mladenov have stepped up their efforts in order to restore calm, but calm can only come if Israel agrees to demands presented by Hamas and other factions,” a Palestinian official said to Reuters.
According to Palestinian local media, Qatari envoy Muhammad al-Amadi will visit the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to hold talks with Hamas officials, including Yahya Sinwar.