(May 19, 2021 / JNS) Multiple rocket salvos were launched into Israel late on Tuesday night and into Wednesday, as Israel’s “Operation Guardian of the Walls” against terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip entered its 10th day. The launches triggered sirens in multiple western Negev towns, as well as in Ashdod and Ashkelon and as far north as Rehovot. No casualties were reported.
Since the current round of fighting between Israel and Gaza erupted on May 10, approximately 3,750 rockets had been fired from Gaza at Israeli territory by Wednesday morning. Of these, approximately 550 failed, falling inside Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system has intercepted approximately 90 percent of the rockets aimed at populated areas.
Thirteen Israelis have been killed and some 1,800 wounded by the ongoing rocket fire. According to Hamas sources, the death toll in Gaza has exceeded 200 with some 1,300 wounded. According to Israel, more than 130 of the casualties are members of terror groups.
The latest attacks come after Israel on Tuesday night hit 40 targets in Gaza with 120 precision-guided munitions. The strikes, which according to the Israeli military focused on Khan Younis and Rafah in southern Gaza, took out some seven miles of Hamas’s “Metro” tunnel system in 25 minutes, said the IDF.
Among the other targets hit by Israel were the homes of several Hamas commanders, including that of military intelligence chief Osama Tabesh, which, according to the IDF, contained “terror infrastructure”; a Palestinian Islamic Jihad weapons-manufacturing site in the central Gaza Strip; Hamas command-and-control systems; a weapons depot located in the offices of Hamas’s internal-security headquarters in Khan Yunis; multi-barreled rocket launchers prepped to fire at Israel; Hamas military outposts; and more, according to the military.
“Tonight, we focused our efforts on two cities in which we have so far been less active—Khan Yunis and Rafah, the source of most of the [rocket] fire on southern Israel,” said IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman.
According to the IDF, throughout Tuesday, some 270 rocket launches from Gaza into Israel were identified. Forty-five fell inside the Gaza Strip, while the Iron Dome system intercepted about 90 percent of those that crossed the border, said the military.
The shift to Khan Younis and Rafah came after the target bank in Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood had been exhausted following 30 hours of strikes.
The latest round of Hamas rocket fire and Israeli strikes comes amid talks of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.
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