As thousands of commuters made their way to the Tel Aviv area Thursday morning, Red Alert sirens sounded, warning of incoming rocket fire by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Terrorists fired four rockets over the Dan area, sending Israelis in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Holon, Bat Yam and Bnei Brak into bomb shelters.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad took responsibility for two rockets each. Hamas said it fired two M-75 rockets, which the IDF said has a range of 75 kilometers (47 miles) and a 60 kilogram warhead.
The four rockets were intercepted over the skies of Tel Aviv by the Iron Dome Missile Defense system. Pedestrians headed into buildings to seek immediate shelter while drivers pulled over on the side of the road, attempting to take cover from the incoming missiles. Thankfully, no injuries or damage were reported.
Thursday mornings attack on Tel Aviv is the third since the start of Operation Protective Edge, which was launched by the IDF against Gaza-based terrorists in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Red Alert sirens sounded in Tel Aviv Tuesday evening and on Wednesday.
The attack came shortly after the IDF confirmed that it killed three Islamic Jihad operatives in an early morning targeted airstrike. The terrorists were involved in manufacturing medium range rockets, the IDF stated.
Earlier on Thursday, around dawn, the IDF hit some 800 terror targets in the Gaza Strip. In total, the IDF says it has destroyed 513 rocket launchers but hundreds more still remain.
On Wednesday, Red Alert sirens sounded as far north as Zichron Ya’akov near the Carmel mountain range, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Haifa. Zichron Ya’akov, which lies 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Gaza, is the most northern point in Israel rockets have reached thus far.
Later in the evening, two rockets landed in the sea off the coast of Haifa, which is 165 kilometers (102 miles) away from Gaza.
According to a report released by the IDF, it is estimated that Hamas has more than 1,000 locally produced short range rockets (15-20 km), 2,500 smuggled rockets, 200 self-made Grad rockets and an equal number of smuggled Grads.
Hamas has around 200 locally-made medium range (45 km) Grad rockets and 1,000 smuggled improved grads. The Gaza-based terror organization is believed to have produced 4000 medium-long range rockets (up to 80 km) and has dozens of long-range rockets (100-200 km).
In total, the IDF estimates that the Hamas arsenal stands at some 6,000 rockets.
The same report indicated that Islamic Jihad, a smaller but still powerful terror group in Gaza, has around 2,400 short range rockets, 800 medium-range improved Grads, and more than 100 medium-long range rockets.
Other smaller terror groups also have hundreds of short-range rockets and dozens of medium-range rockets.
All terror groups have what the IDF believes is thousands of RPG-7 rocket launchers, hundreds of mortar shells, dozens of advanced anti-tank missiles and guided anti-tank missiles, and thousands of explosive devices.
Estimates show that around 360 rockets have been fired into Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. However, the IDF says that the pace of rocket fire is slowing down, with only 82 rockets hitting Israel on Wednesday, 21 of those intercepted by the Iron Dome.
Gallery – 14 Disturbing Pictures of Life Under Fire