Two dead in direct hit in Ashkelon, school house struck as Hamas launches hundreds of rockets

Hamas gloated after it bombarded the city of Ashkelon. Over 400 rockets have been launched since last night.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

At 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Hamas announced that it had fired 137 heavy rockets in five minutes at the city of Ashkelon. Two women have been reported killed by a direct hit. A third, an 80-year-old woman, was extricated from the building. She is in critical condition.

The Barzilai Medical Center reported it has treated 84 casualties, two of theme in serious condition. Forty-nine casualties are currently being treated in the emergency room, Kan News reports.

Three rockets made direct hits on buildings in the city.

One rocket struck a school. Firefighters struggled to put the fire out. No one was trapped inside as classes had been cancelled in areas near the Gaza Strip due to the security situation.

Sirens have sounded throughout southern Israel during the day as rockets continue to be launched into Israel. In the morning, dozens of rockets hit the city of Ashdod. A mother and daughter, 12, arrived at Assuta Hospital in Ashdod with shrapnel wounds, but were otherwise listed as lightly injured after a rocket struck their home.

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Before morning on Tuesday, a rocket made a direct hit on an apartment building in Ashkelon, injuring four. The father, 40, was listed in serious condition having sustained a head injury. The mother, 39, was moderately injured. Their two children, ages 6 and 12, were lightly injured. Also lightly injured in the rocket strike were an 82-year-old woman and a 63-year-old man. The IDF has requested that Ashkelon residents remain in their reinforced rooms.

Israel returned fire, killing several terrorists. It also attacked a terror tunnel and other targets. Gaza’s Health Ministry claims 26 have been killed and 122 injured.

The exchange of fire began on Monday after Hamas fired a rocket barrage at Jerusalem, the first time in years. The rocket attack and Arab riots in the capital put a halt to the annual Flags Parade to celebrate Jerusalem Day. One of the rockets narrowly missed hitting a home in a settlement on the outskirts of the city.

The IDF has said the current round of fighting may last several days or lead to a still wider operation. It has struck over 130 targets since yesterday and has called up 5,000 reservists.