Rocket fire from Gaza resumed as expected Thursday evening in an onslaught that started with last week’s deadly bus-attack that left 8 Israelis dead.
At least seventeen Qassam rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza on Thursday evening exploding in open fields in Eshkol, the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, and south of Ashkelon. The "Color Red" warning siren was sounded in the areas under attack.
Shortly after 7pm another rocket was fired that struck near the Erez crossing. The IAF reported that warplanes struck a separate terror cell preparing a launch just before the Erez attack and scored a "precise hit."
Gaza sources Thursday confirmed that a terror cell launching mortar shells and Kassam rockets from the northern Gaza town of Beit Lehiya was hit by IAF fire. The sources say an air force missile hit a motorcycle carrying Salim Arabid and Ala Abu-Hiraf of the Islamic Jihad terror group's Al-Quds companies.
Shortly after 10pm on Thursday, Terrorists in northern Gaza fired a rocket at the western Negev city of Sderot. The rocket hit an agricultural facility east of the city.
The Iron Dome missile defense system uses a sophisticated decision-making software to make a split second determination on whether or not to intercept incoming rockets based on whether it will land in populated or built-up areas. It is unknown if it attempted to intercept the rocket at the agricultural facility or not.
No physical injuries or property damage have been reported in southern Israel thus far.
Earlier Thursday, a projectile exploded in open territory in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. No physical injuries were reported, but damage was caused to a high voltage line.
The attacks come as Israelis braced for more attacks after at least 20 rockets fired into Israel Wednesday night. These were in addition to a shooting attack that wounded two and the par for the course rock-throwings.
A 9-month-old baby sustained light to moderate wounds from one of the rockets Wednesday.
A security official who spoke to Arutz Sheva on condition of anonymity said Israel's security community fully expects - in addition to the general escalation - more "qualitative attacks" from Gaza-based terrorists in the future.
The official intimated Gaza's terror groups, in cooperation with Sinai-based terrorists, are seeking to undermine Israel's relationship with Egypt and "turn back the clock" on the regional status quo.
The Netanyahu government has said a dramatic intervention in Gaza is not on the agenda at present.
Editor: The Prime MInister is not elaborating at this point on how he intends to ensure the safety of Israel's citizens, but a land operation, although possibly the only solution, has a high price in terms of soldiers' lives and this is not an easy decision to make.The presence of Hizbullah across the northern border and Iran's threats of violence are other factors that make for careful weighing of the dilemma facing the country, this in addition to world opinion, which Israelis might feel should be ignored when their lives are at stake.