by: Ilse Strauss
Friday, 14 June 2019 | Just after 9 p.m. last night, residents in the south of Israel ran for shelter for the second time in less than 24 hours as the now-familiar sound of the Code Red air raid siren screamed a warning of a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip. The wail of the alarm was followed by the sound of a crash as the incoming projectile struck a direct hit on a Jewish religious school in Sderot.
The rocket failed to explode, but smashed into the outer structure of the yeshivah (religious school), shattering a number of windows and sending debris showering onto the sidewalk. Since most students had already left for the weekend, the building was largely empty and the strike caused no injuries.
Israel retaliated in the early hours of Friday morning, striking “several terror targets, including terror infrastructure in military compounds” and a Hamas naval force military complex, the Israeli military said in a statement. “The attack was carried out in response to the rocket that was shot from the Gaza Strip earlier this evening.”
No group in the Gaza Strip has claimed responsibility for the attack on Israel yet. The Jewish state does, however, hold Hamas—the terror organization in complete military and administrative control of the strip—accountable for all aggression emanating from the coastal enclave. “The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] will continue to act against attempts to harm Israeli citizens and sees the Hamas terrorist organization as responsible for all actions in and from the Gaza Strip,” the IDF spokesperson said.
Last night’s attack was the second of the day. The first came in the predawn hours of Thursday, when a rocket launched from Gaza sent sleeping Israeli civilians scrambling for the safety of their bomb shelters. According to the army, the Iron Dome intercepted the projectile. In response, Israel struck a Hamas underground facility.
Yesterday’s exchange of fire follows a week of escalating tensions between Israel and Gaza after a wave of arson attacks launched from the coastal enclave set southern Israel ablaze almost daily. Incendiary balloons and other devices sparked at least eight fires on Wednesday and seven on Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.
This is also the worst flare-up in violence since a reported cease-fire spelled the end of two days of intense fighting between Israel and Gazan terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad that left four Israelis and 29 Gazans dead.
The IDF also anticipates a possible escalation in violence on the Gaza border as Gazans prepare to resume the usual Friday violent protests at the border fence. The riots, which started in March last year, have seen more than 500,000 protestors attempt to storm and break down the fence, burn tires and hurl stones, grenades and other explosive devices at soldiers stationed on the Israeli side of the border.
Posted on June 14, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 14, 2019)
Photo Credit: YouTube/TV7 Israel News/Screenshot
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