A color red alert sounded in several communities in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council at approximately 12:30 am this morning, immediately followed by a blast.
One Qassam rocket that was launched from the Gaza Strip hit an open area. No injuries or damage were reported.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the IDF had deployed an Iron Dome defense system in Sderot and Beer Sheva to thwart possible rocket fire from Gaza in retaliation for Tuesday’s Israeli airstrikes in the strip.
Tuesday Air Force strikes in the Gaza Strip following a shooting attack in which Salah Abu Latif was killed, included hits to six different targets. According to Gaza sources, a three-year-old girl – Khala Sabiha – was killed, and several members of her family were injured.
The Air Force is preparing to also deploy the missile defense system in other sites in the south, in addition to a permanent battery in Ashkelon.
Infantry, engineering, and armored corps are deployed along the Gaza border fence to prepare for shooting from Gaza or infiltration attempts.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon attributed the recent security escalation to the peace process, saying when peace talks take the place, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is brought to the foreground, prompting political rage and consequent seditiousness that eventually manifest in terror. “It’s linked to the diplomatic process.”
While visiting the Givati Brigade during an operational drill, the defense minister addressed recent escalation in the Gaza Strip and to the killing of Israeli citizen Salah Abu Latif by Gazan snipers, saying: “As far as we’re concerned, Hamas is the sovereign entity in the Gaza Strip. It’s responsible for the region’s ongoings.
“We expect that (Hamas) lay its law on its people and on other groups. If it doesn’t we will respond. If it isn’t quiet here, it won’t be quiet in the Gaza Strip. In any case, we are prepared for the possibility of an escalation, including a deployment of the Iron Dome system.”