By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 4 May, 2019
Gaza-based terrorists have launched over 220 rockets at Israeli cities and towns throughout south since Saturday morning, firing almost insistently at civilian targets.
While dozens of rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome defense systems, several Israelis were injured and some residential buildings sustained direct hits. One of the victims is an 80-year-old woman who was seriously injured in the city of Kiryat Gat.
In response to the attacks, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has carried out some 120 attacks against terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, including training and weapons manufacturing compounds, a Hamas naval compound and headquarters, and a terror tunnel that ran from Gaza into Israel. At least two terrorists were killed in the strikes.
The IDF stated that the Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror groups are responsible for the attacks on Israel.
All school on Sunday in the south has been canceled by the IDF, and workplaces will open only if they have access to a bomb shelter.
IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis stated that the IDF is prepared for an escalation, including rocket fire on Tel Aviv.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that Islamic Jihad and Hamas are committing a double war crime by intentionally targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind local civilian population.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the “multiple rocket attacks from Gaza towards Israel. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians are completely unacceptable.”
French Ambassador to Israel Helène Le Gal stated her “solidarity with the people of southern Israel, hard hit by the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.”
The German Foreign Ministry stated it “strongly condemns the massive rocket fire from Gaza to Israel. There is no justification for attacking civilians. Israel has the right to defend itself and protect its people.”
“The rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel must stop immediately,” European Union spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic says in a statement. “A de-escalation of this dangerous situation is urgently needed to ensure that civilians’ lives are protected.”
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon appealed to the UN Security Council and Secretary-General António Guterres to “take decisive measures against the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and support Israel’s right to self-defense and defensive actions.”
“The State of Israel has the duty and the full right to do all that is necessary to protect our people and our sovereignty, and we will continue to do so at all times,” Danon wrote, calling on the Council to “take this opportunity to finally condemn terrorism against Israel, designate Hamas as a terrorist organization and support the fundamental right of Israel to self-defense.”
These latest attacks on Israel occur just days after it marked its Holocaust Remembrance Day and days before it will celebrate its Independence Day.
The IDF deployed Iron Dome defense systems throughout the country a few days ago, acting on intelligence that the Islamic Jihad plans to launch an attack against Israel during its Independence Day and during the Eurovision Song Contest slated to be held in Tel Aviv in two weeks.
In recent weeks, the Islamic Jihad has been taking steps to disrupt the un-announced understandings between Israel and Hamas, which rules the trip. The terror group has been trying to drag the area into deterioration, the IDF said.
President Reuven Rivlin stated that “as a tense and worrying Shabbat ends, I am praying for those injured and thinking of those sheltering from rockets in their safe spaces.”
Israel will “continue to stand against this dreadful terror and will respond forcefully and unwaveringly to any attack on the security of our people,” he vowed.