Terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip fired 44 projectiles, including rockets and anti-aircraft missiles, towards southern Israel overnight Thursday, setting off sirens in Sderot, Nir Am, Mefalsim, Gavim, Nachal Oz, Alumim and Ibim.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, one rocket struck a populated area in Sderot and eight were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Fourteen rockets hit open areas inside Israel, nine fell short in Gaza and a dozen were fired in the direction of the Mediterranean Sea, said the military.
The rocket that hit Sderot damaged a home but caused no injuries.
In response, Israel Air Force jets hit more than 10 Hamas targets in the Palestinian enclave, including weapons manufacturing sites and attack tunnels.
The military also struck Hamas assets in southern Lebanon, after the Palestinian terrorist group fired 34 rockets from the Hezbollah-controlled country towards northern Israel on Thursday. At least five of those projectiles struck within Israel and another 25 were intercepted by Iron Dome.
Two Israelis in the Western Galilee city of Nahariya were lightly wounded by shrapnel from the rockets, which also damaged several locations.
“The state of Lebanon is considered responsible for everything that happens in its territory, including the firing of rockets by Hamas. We will not allow Hamas to operate from Lebanon,” said IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari on Friday morning.
“The IDF is prepared to carry out its missions—the offensive activity tonight in more than one arena is a clear indication of this. Israeli residents in the north and south constitute a strong civilian home front. We are entrusted with protecting them and their resilience allows us to continue to fulfill our duties,” he added.
The military instructed people living near the Gaza Strip to remain near bomb shelters until further notice. It lifted the order shortly before 11 am on Friday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the high-level Security Cabinet late Thursday and vowed to hold the Jewish state’s enemies accountable.
“Israel’s response, tonight and in the future, will exact a heavy price,” he said.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen called on world leaders to condemn the attacks from Lebanon, which came on the heels of a barrage of rockets launched from Gaza on Tuesday and overnight Wednesday.
“First day of Passover. As we sit at the holiday table, family and friends, Israel is facing rockets from south and north. This is not a coincidence. No one should test us, we will take all necessary measures to defend our country and people,” said the top Israeli diplomat.
“I call on the international community to issue a clear statement against those responsible for the attacks on Israel,” he added.
Shortly thereafter, the United States reiterated its commitment to upholding Israel’s security and backed Jerusalem’s right to respond.
“We condemn the launch of rockets from Lebanon and Gaza,” said State Department spokesman Vedant Patel. “Our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad. We recognize Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against all forms of aggression.”
On Friday, the IDF announced that it was bolstering the Northern and Southern Commands with additional infantry and artillery forces, in preparation for a possible ground operation.
Be a part of our community
JNS serves as the central hub for a thriving community of readers who appreciate the invaluable context our coverage offers on Israel and their Jewish world.
Please join our community and help support our unique brand of Jewish journalism that makes sense.