(November 13, 2019 / JNS) The Israel Defense Forces said at least 350 rockets have been launched in the direction of Israel from the Gaza Strip since rocket fire began early on Tuesday as reports of a ceasefire were emerging late Wednesday.
Gaza factions continued to launch massive rocket barrages at Israel for the second straight day on Wednesday, following the targeted killing by Israel of senior PIJ commander Baha Abu al-Ata in the Hamas-controlled enclave. Abu al-Ata’s wife was also killed in the attack.
Just before midnight, Islamic Jihad launched a massive rocket barrage that reached towards central Israel, setting off sirens in Rehovot, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Tel Aviv. In response, Israel resumed airstrikes on Gaza targets.
Nevertheless, reports of a ceasefire began to emerge. An Israeli official said the latest burst of rockets may be an indication that PIJ was trying to make a statement beforehand.
“The Islamic Jihad wants a ceasefire, and therefore, it is trying to create a false presentation of achievements. The Jihad’s demands prove that Israel’s operations were a success. The IDF killed 20 terrorists and significantly harmed the Jihad’s capabilities,” the official told The Times of Israel.
Earlier reports on Wednesday indicated that sirens sounded on Wednesday in Israel’s south, as well as in Ashdod, Ashkelon (where a 70-year-old Israeli woman was wounded), Netiv HaAssara, Gedera, Zikim, Karmia and other towns.
Several Israelis have been injured, including an 8-year-old girl who collapsed while running for shelter in Holon. She was evacuated to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon in serious condition.
Islamic Jihad leader Ziad Nahala listed his group’s conditions for a ceasefire in Gaza during an interview with the Beirut-based channel Al-Mayadeen TV. They included an end to Israel’s targeted killings of militants and Gaza-border protesters, as well as measures to ease a blockade on the coastal enclave.
“There is a draft agreement for the truce, and we expect an answer [from the Israelis] tonight,” he said.
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