update desk

Early-morning rockets again target southern Israel

Red Alert warning sirens rang out in Eshkol, Sha’ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev and Hof Ashkelon multiple times from 1:45 a.m. to 4 a.m.

A man seen at the entrance to a bomb shelter in the Golan Heights in northern Israel on May 8, 2018, following an Israeli-army order to open area bomb shelters. Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90.
A man seen at the entrance to a bomb shelter in the Golan Heights in northern Israel on May 8, 2018, following an Israeli-army order to open area bomb shelters. Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90.

Thousands of Israeli citizens once again scrambled to bomb shelters on  Wednesday when Palestinians in Gaza launched over a dozen rockets at southern Israel.

Red Alert warning sirens rang out in Eshkol, Sha’ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev and Hof Ashkelon multiple times from 1:45 a.m. to 4 a.m.

No casualties or damage were reported in Israel. The Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted three rockets, and those that touched down did so in unpopulated areas.

Schools were opened in the morning following a meeting between army officials and regional council leaders.

Palestinians had sparked several arson fires along the Gaza border on Tuesday with incendiary balloons they had launched to cause damage in Israel. Israel responded by launching multiple strikes on terror targets, including the car of a senior Hamas operative tied to the balloon attacks, as well as two Hamas outposts in northern Gaza. No casualties were reported in the Israeli reprisals.

It was the third such exchange in the last two weeks, with Hamas and Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad launching rockets on Israeli civilians on June 18 and June 20 following IDF airstrikes on Hamas terror targets.

On Tuesday, Palestinians reported that Israeli drones destroyed two cars and an observation post from which Palestinians were launching incendiary balloons into Israel.

On Monday, 11 fires were started in southern Israel by Palestinian airborne arson devices.

Since March 30, Gazan Palestinians have launched hundreds of explosive and flammable kites, balloons and inflated latex condoms into Israel, sparking fires almost daily, and burning thousands of acres of agricultural land, nature reserves and forests.

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