The Israel Air Force struck 80 Hamas targets late Friday night after 30 rockets were fired at Israel, officials say. According to an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, dozens of fighter jets and other IDF aircrafts carried out the strikes in Gaza. Among the sites attacked include two major weapon manufacturing locations and five military training compounds.
The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted ten of the rockets fired into Israel’s south, the military said. Media outlets in Gaza reported earlier that Israel struck targets in the area of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip in retaliation.
Eleven different alarm sirens were activated throughout the night in Israel’s southern communities including the cities of Sderot and Eshkol Regional Council near the Gaza border.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot held an emergency meeting with senior officials in response to the escalations. Safety instructions to residents of Israel’s Gaza-bordered communities were issued, warning residents not to have gatherings of up to 100 people in an open area, and 500 in a closed area.
כיפת ברזל הופעלה בשדרות. קרדיט צילום: שדרות און-ליין. pic.twitter.com/FMbd8qLUr1
— almog ben-zikri (@almogbenzikri) October 26, 2018
Seven people have been treated for shock trauma in Sderot according to a Magen David Adom spokesperson. A 53-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy were lightly injured after running for protection when sirens sounded.
Some residents reported hearing explosions, with some saying they witnessed interceptions by the Iron Dome missile defense system. No damage or serious injuries have been reported.
The sirens came hours after Palestinian authorities reported thatfive Palestinians had been killed by Israeli military fire – four in the weekly protests on the Israel-Gaza border and one in clashes in the West Bank.
Late on Wednesday night, the Israeli military struck eight Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket fired from Gaza landed in an unpopulated area in Israel.
Last week a rocket launched from Gaza hit a house in the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva, damaging it heavily. Another rocket landed in the sea near one of the major cities in Israel’s largest metropolitan area.
In response the Israeli military said it struck 20 targets in Gaza, including a Hamas attack tunnel in the southern Strip. The assault “significantly damaged Hamas’ capabilities,” IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis added.
Eisenkot cut short his visit in the United States following the escalation on the southern border. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the closure of the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings into Gaza and a reduction in the permitted fishing zone off the coast of the enclave.