Jerusalem, June 19 – Terrorists in Gaza have fired at least 25 rockets so far today at Israeli homes in the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Sderot. The attacks followed a barrage of rockets on Sderot Monday (June 18).
There have been no reports of injuries or damage, but Israeli defense authorities have ordered tens of thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters as sirens wail across several towns.
A terror cell infiltrated Israel on Monday from the Sinai Peninsula, just south of Gaza, killing an Israeli civilian. The victim, Saeed Pshafsh, was an Israeli Arab from the city of Haifa and a father of four. He was on a construction crew at the time, working on the new border fence between Israel and Egypt.
The fence is being built to prevent such cross-border terror attacks emanating from Sinai and Gaza.
There are 400 to 500 smuggling tunnels running under the Gaza-Egypt frontier, according to Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman Lt.-Col. Avital Leibovich. Speaking on a conference call organized by TIP, Leibovich said terrorists and arms are easily smuggled in and out of Sinai via the tunnels.
So far this year terrorists have fired 392 rockets, mortars and missiles at Israel from Gaza and more than 13,000 in the last decade.
The military wing of Hamas said it carried out the attack. Israel holds Iran-backed Hamas responsible for all terror attacks launched from Gaza. It has controlled the territory since it seized power in a bloody coup in 2007.
“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt by terrorist groups to target Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will continue to operate against those who use terror against the State of Israel,” the Israeli army said in a statement.