Terrorists in Gaza continue their relentless rocket fire upon Israel on Thursday as a Kassam rocket struck a building in Sderot Thursday morning that is being used as a summer day camp for children. The rocket thankfully did not explode as children were set to arrive minutes before the impact.
The Iron Dome Missile Defense system shot down two incoming rockets that were headed towards the southern town of Netivot early Thursday morning. Four other rockets landed in an open field.
The IDF ordered an increased presence of troops near the Israel-Gaza border, sending a message to Hamas that Israel will no longer tolerate terror. No official government order has been to the IDF to stage an attack against Gaza although many governmental leaders are calling to reclaim the Strip.
Overnight Wednesday, the Israeli Air Force targeted 15 terror sites in Gaza. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, IAF jet fighters destroyed concealed rocket launchers, weapons storage sites and training compounds, all belonging to the Hamas terror group.
The statement made clear that the IDF carried out the airstrikes in response to increased rocket attacks on southern Israel.
“The IDF is prepared to defend the citizens of Israel from any threat and will continue to act decisively and as long as necessary until peace is restored,” the statement read.
On Wednesday, at least 23 rockets were fired upon southern Israel, causing Red Alert sirens to sound across the region. Around 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, a rocket exploded near a home in Sderot causing minor damage. However, the rocket hit a local power line and caused major blackouts throughout the city.
The Israel-Gaza border has seen a sharp military escalation over the last several weeks in the wake of the kidnapping and murders of three Israeli youth. This week, tensions mounted as Palestinians blamed Israel for the death of an Arab teen in Jerusalem although reports indicate that the death was caused by fellow Arabs carrying out an “honor killing.”
Israel has blamed Hamas for the murders of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel. The two suspected kidnappers are known members of Hamas operating out of Hebron.
The Islamic Jihad terror group, which operates out of the Gaza Strip, announced that it would not be targeting “settlers,” who are “legitimate targets” for “the resistance.”
In a statement reported by the Ma’an news agency, Islamic Jihad announced, “We send our message to the Zionist entity and its leaders, which hold direct responsibility (for the murder), that our people will not let this crime pass, nor all the killings and destruction by your settlers.”
“You will pay the price for these crimes,” the group warned.