Two hurt as at least two rockets fired from Gaza strike Sderot 

Source: Two hurt as at least two rockets fired from Gaza strike Sderot | The Times of Israel

Iron Dome shoots down two of eight projectiles after sirens blare throughout southern Israel; barrage comes amid heightened tensions, frequent flare-ups on border

Emergency medical personnel respond to a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip that hit the southern Israeli town of Sderot on August 8, 2018. (United Hatzalah)

Emergency medical personnel respond to a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip that hit the southern Israeli town of Sderot on August 8, 2018. (United Hatzalah)

At least two rockets fired from Gaza struck the southern Israeli town of Sderot on Wednesday evening, injuring two people, hours after an exchange of fire between the military and the Hamas terrorist group along the Gaza border.

Sirens rang out in several southern Israel communities at 7:40 p.m. as Gazan terrorists apparently launched a fusillade of rockets.

According to the Israeli military, eight rockets were fired at southern Israel from the Palestinian enclave. Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

At least two rockets from Gaza struck Sderot, according to police.

Following the rocket attack, an Israeli drone struck farmlands near Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, the Hamas-linked Palestinian Information Center reported. No injuries were reported.

In Sderot, a 34-year-old man was lightly-to-moderately- wounded by shards of broken glass while inside an apartment building in the town, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

Another man in his 20s was also lightly wounded by shrapnel in a different area of Sderot. They were both taken to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center for treatment.

In addition, eight people were treated on the scene after they suffered panic attacks, including two pregnant women, MDA said.

Videos and photographs from Sderot showed heavy damage to several cars and shrapnel riddling an apartment building.

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Police bomb disposal units were called to the scene and have closed off the area, a police spokesperson said.

It was not immediately clear if the two men were injured by the impact of a Hamas rocket or by the remains of an Iron Dome interceptor missile.

Earlier in the day, the military warned that it was anticipating a revenge attack by the Hamas terrorist group after two of its members were killed in an IDF strike on Tuesday.

The rocket fire represented a major uptick in tensions along the border, amid intensive talks between Israel and Hamas for a long-term ceasefire. Such an agreement is meant to end not only rocket launches and shootings from Gaza but also the regular incendiary kite and balloon attacks from the Palestinian enclave that have burned large swaths of land in southern Israel and caused millions of shekels of damage.

On Wednesday afternoon, shots were fired from the Gaza Strip at a number of civilian construction vehicles just outside the Palestinian enclave, causing damage but no injuries.

In response, an Israeli tank shelled a Hamas observation post in the northern Gaza Strip, the army said.

There were no immediate reports of Palestinian injuries.

The engineering vehicles that were fired upon were being used to build an underground barrier around the Gaza Strip, which is meant to counter Hamas’s network of border-crossing attack tunnels.

“Terrorists shot at civilian vehicles that were being used in the effort to construct the barrier around the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. One vehicle was hit,” the IDF said.

Damage to a construction vehicle outside the Gaza Strip, which the military says was caused by gunfire from the Palestinian enclave, on August 8, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Palestinian media reported that shortly after the attack, IDF soldiers fired smoke grenades into the northern Gaza Strip, near the abandoned Karni Border Crossing.

It was not immediately clear if this was in response to the shooting attack or if it was an unrelated incident.

In addition, throughout Wednesday, at least 11 fires were sparked in southern Israel by airborne arson devices launched from the Gaza Strip. Israeli firefighters extinguished all of them, according to a spokesperson for Fire and Rescue Services.

Earlier in the day, the military closed off a highway in southern Israel on Wednesday out of concerns that Hamas might open fire at Israeli vehicles.

The military said the decision to close Route 25 and several smaller service roads near the border was made in light of recent threats by Hamas and after IDF soldiers saw that the terror group had begun abandoning several of its positions in the Strip — a move Hamas generally takes as a precaution against airstrikes before carrying out attacks against Israel.

On Tuesday, an IDF tank shelled a Hamas observation post along the Gaza border, killing two of the terror group’s fighters, after soldiers nearby mistakenly believed shots had been fired at them.

A picture taken on July 20, 2018 shows an Israeli Merkava battle tank patrolling along along the border with the Gaza Strip near Kibbutz Nahal Oz in southern Israel. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

The army later confirmed that the gunshots were not fired at the soldiers, but were part of a Hamas training exercise inside the Strip.

The IDF defended its decision to attack the observation post, telling the Haaretz newspaper that the shelling was justified given the information it had available at the time.

Hamas vowed to avenge its fallen members, saying it will not allow Israel to “impose a policy of bombing sites and targeting fighters without paying the price.”

On Wednesday, the military said it would work to prevent any attacks against Israeli citizens by Hamas.

“The IDF will act to ensure the security of residents of the [Gaza] area and will not allow civilians and IDF soldiers to be harmed. The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios,” the army said Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday, rocket sirens sounded in Israeli communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, sending thousands of residents running to bomb shelters in what the military later said was a false alarm. The alarm systems were triggered shortly before 10 a.m. in the city of Sderot and communities in the Sha’ar Hanegev region of southern Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces did not specify what caused the false alarm. In the past, such events have been triggered by large-caliber gunfire near the border, which the military’s sensitive detection systems misidentify as rocket fire.

Adam Rasgon and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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2 Comments on “Two hurt as at least two rockets fired from Gaza strike Sderot ”

  1. wingate Says:

    2 out of 8 been taken out by iron dome ?
    So of 800 missiles 600 will make their way to Israels cities – thats very bad news. Especially when we know that in Lebanon there are
    150 000 missiles pointing at israel…

    • wingate Says:

      2 out of 8 been taken out by iron dome ?
      So of 800 missiles 600 will make their way to Israels cities – thats very bad news. Especially when we know that in Lebanon there are
      150 000 missiles pointing at israel…


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