Five Rockets Shot Down by Iron Dome over Tel Aviv
In the course of Operation Protective Edge on Tuesday night 160 terror targets were hit in Gaza by the IDF, bringing the total to 434 targets struck since the start of the operation on Monday night.
"Color Red" rocket warning sirens were sounded in the coastal Gush Dan region early on Wednesday morning, sending residents of Tel Aviv, Rishon Letzion, Ashdod and other cities to shelters.
Explosions were heard in the Tel Aviv area, and at least five Gaza rockets were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system in the region, after Iron Dome similarly shot down at least two rockets over Tel Aviv the day before.
One of the overnight strikes reportedly took out a “senior commander” in the Al-Quds Brigades, the “military wing” of the Islamic Jihad. The IDF Spokesperson Unit confirmed the report in a statement, identifying the terrorist as Hafaz Hamad (37), and noting he was highly involved in the rocket fire on Israel.
The statement added that among the 160 targets hit Tuesday night were ten terror tunnels used for smuggling, as well as six sites of the Hamas terrorist government, including the terror group's internal security offices, national security offices and a police position.
Likewise 118 concealed rocket launchers were targeted, including both medium and long-range rockets, causing significant damage to the rocket launching infrastructure.
The IDF statement noted that several strikes were conducted by the Israeli navy, including strikes on positions of the Hamas terror organization's naval forces.
Long-range rockets from Iran, dozens remain
A senior IDF source said Wednesday morning that since the beginning of the operation Monday night, 60 rockets from Gaza have been shot down by Iron Dome, which has been deployed in a new arrangement this morning.
Roughly 120 rockets were fired at Israel by Gaza terrorists over Tuesday.
The airstrikes on Tuesday night focused mostly on rocket launching pits, the houses of terrorist leaders, and targets connected with the Hamas terrorist government ruling Gaza, said the source.
A late night salvo of rockets on Tuesday evening hit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and as far as Hadera, which is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of Tel Aviv and south of Haifa.
Speaking about the missile strike on Hadera, the source said the rocket likely was of the M302 model, samples of which were captured in March by the IDF as they were being smuggled on the Klos C ship from Iran to Gaza, apparently via Sudan. The rockets have a range of 200 kilometers (125 miles).
According to official estimates, there are several dozen long range missiles of this type still in Gaza. The rockets, which are manufactured in Syria and China, apparently were smuggled into Gaza by Iran.
Striking the terrorists who breached the border
The IDF reported that in a joint operation with General Security Services, strikes were conducted on the homes of two senior Hamas terrorists which were used as command centers by the terror group.
The statement named the one of Rahad Atar, head of Hamas's Rafiah forces, and Mohammed Sinuar, head of the Khan Younis forces.
Hamas television had reported earlier that IAF airstrikes blew up the homes of two of five terrorists that breached the security border by sea and tried to enter Kibbutz Zikim, located roughly a kilometer and a half (around one mile) north of Gaza along the coast.
All of the terrorists, who were heavily armed, were eliminated by the IDF after they came across Givati infantry brigade forces and a gun battle broke out. One soldier was lightly injured in the clash.
While the Hamas report claimed five terrorists were involved in the attack, Israeli sources reported that there were only four. In a statement taking credit for the attack, Hamas did not mention any of its casualties, but falsely claimed that it had inflicted "heavy casualties" on IDF soldiers. It also falsely claimed to have fired 10 Katyusha missiles at an IDF base.