People in southern Israel woke to a day of tension this morning, after a night disturbed by air raid sirens in many towns and settlements, while terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip are threatening to widen the circle of fire and launch rockets at the Tel Aviv area. In many settlements in the south and the coastal plain schools are closed today, on instructions from the IDF Home Front Command and as decided by heads of local authorities.
In the early hours of this morning, a resident of Ashkelon, Moshe Agadi (58), a married father of four, was killed by shrapnel from a rocket that landed in the yard of his home. Later in the day an Israeli man was killed near Sderot when his car was hit by a rocket and a third man was killed when a rocket from Gaza hit an Israeli factory. There were heavy salvoes of rocket fire at Beersheva, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat, Ashdod, and other towns and villages and sirens were heard in Rehovot and Yavne several hours ago.
About 180 rockets were fired at Israel between midnight last night and Sunday morning. Dozens were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. Since the beginning of the present round of fighting, at 10 am yesterday, more than 600 rockets have been fired at southern Israel. According to the IDF spokesperson, more than 100 were successfully intercepted. Ten Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are reported killed by IDF fire.
Over the weekend, the Israel Air Force attacked more than 200 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip. Among them were infrastructures that served the two organizations; rocket launch teams; piers of tunnels dug from inside the Gaza Strip and extending into Israeli territory; a training camp of the Hamas marine commando; an arms factory; and a concrete works that supplied construction materials for tunnels.
Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu held situation assessments at the weekend with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and other defense chiefs, while the Egyptians continued in their efforts to achieve understandings between the sides and a calming of the situation on the ground.
Israel's security cabinet met at 12:30 today, for the first time in six weeks, to discuss the situation in the south.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - <a href=http://en.globes.co.il>en.globes.co.il</a> - on May 5, 2019
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