After Tel Aviv, Hamas Targets Central Plain Cities
Hamas terrorists on Thursday afternoon launched yet another heavy barrage of rockets at Israeli cities in the center of the country. Sirens were heard in Ramle, Lod, Nes Tziyona, Yavne, and other areas south of Rishon Lezion. Several of the missiles were destroyed in mid-air by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, while others fell in open areas. No injuries or damage were reported.
The rockets at the central plain cities were a continuation of the heavy barrage that Israel faced on Thursday, the third day of Operation Protective Edge. Six missiles were fired at Tel Aviv Thursday, with a barrage of four missiles fired at about 8 AM, as tens of thousands of commuters were driving into the Tel Aviv area. Two more missiles were fired at about 11:30 AM. All six were shot down by Iron Dome missiles. No damage to any buildings was reported, although several cars were said to have been struck by shrapnel. One woman was treated for shock in Ramat Gan, Magen David Adom officials said.
On both occasions, warning sirens were heard in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, Holon, and Bat Yam. Hamas took responsibility for at least four of the rockets, with Islamic Jihad terrorists firing the other two.
The earlier missiles were fired to coincide with the morning commute, as hundreds of thousands of people were traveling into the Tel Aviv area. Reports said that pedestrians headed into buildings seeking safe shelter when the sirens went off, while some drivers who were stuck in stop and go traffic attempted to pull over to the side of the road and find a place to hide from the incoming missiles.
Homefront Command officials said that there were no reports of damage, while some reports said that several individuals were injured by shrapnel from pieces of the intercepted missiles that fell to the ground.
Magen David Adom officials said that at least one traffic accident appeared to have been caused by the attack. A bus and passenger vehicle collided on Road 4 near the Geha Junction in Bnei Brak as the siren went off. No one was injured in the accident, officials said.
Homefront Command officials appealed to Israelis not to congregate in the areas where pieces of destroyed rockets fall after they are exploded by the Iron Dome system. Such congregation is dangerous, the officials said, since Hamas terrorists could fire rockets at the same site after a crowd gathered, placing those at the scene in grave danger.
Also on Thursday morning, a warning siren was heard in the area of Mitzpe Ramon, in the Negev. This is the first time sirens have been sounded in this area, officials said. A rocket was also fired at Dimona, the site of Israel's nuclear plant, falling in an open field and causing no damage.
In addition, a missile was fired at the embattled city of Sderot, where it landed in the front yard of a house. The house sustained slight damage, and one woman was lightly injured by shrapnel. She was treated by Magen David Adom rescue workers and released.