Red Alert sirens sounded in southern Israel just after 9:00 pm on Thursday night and seconds later, a rocket hit the Lev Ladaat Yeshiva (Torah school) complex in the city of Sderot. The building was damaged but no injuries were reported. The yeshiva was part of the Hesder program which integrates Torah study and service in the IDF. Most of the students had already left the yeshiva to go to their homes in other cities.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) June 13, 2019
Due to its proximity to Gaza, Sderot residents have just 15 seconds or less to seek shelter when a rocket alarm sounds. It is believed that the rocket malfunctioned and did not explode. Had it detonated, the damage to the building would have been far greater. It is unclear why the Iron Dome system did not intercept the rocket.
The head of the yeshiva, Rabbi David Fendel, spoke to the media, calling the outcome of the rocket attack “a miracle.”
“A miracle happened to us. We thank the Creator for saving the young men who were sitting and engaged in Torah study,” Rabbi Fendel said to Israel National News. The rabbi explained that there were several men learning Torah just a few meters away from the point of impact.
The IDF released a statement saying that the IAF launched aerial attacks targeting “several terror targets, including terror infrastructure in military compounds.”
Last night, a rocket fired from Gaza struck a school and synagogue in Israel.
A short while ago, we struck Hamas terror targets in Gaza.
Terror targets civilians,
Israel targets terror. pic.twitter.com/Jp67TvsucN
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) June 14, 2019
One target was described as belonging to the Hamas terror group’s naval commando unit.
This was the second attack against Israel on Thursday. Just after midnight on Thursday, the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza towards southern Israel. Red alert air raid sirens went off, giving advance warning of the rocket attack. Israeli air-force jets responded by attacking military targets in the al-Rayyan neighborhood east of Rafah and another on in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City.
In the beginning of May, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired approximately 700 rockets at Israeli cities, killing four civilians and injuring close to 80.