A rocket hit a gas station in the coastal city of Ashdod, setting fire to an oil tank, and its explosion seriously wounded a man.
The explosion was the result of a volley of eight rockets launched from Gaza on Friday at Israel’s southern coastal plain. The man, aged 61, sustained burns and other serious injuries from the explosion, but was said to be in serious rather than life-threatening condition on Friday evening. Another two people were injured from shrapnel from the same explosion.
The Israeli was not immediately named. He was in his car at the gas station, and unable to reach a protected area in good time, after sirens wailed and the rocket struck. A relative told Army Radio he fills up at that gas station every week.
Earlier on Friday, terrorists in Lebanon fired mortar rounds into Israel as it entered the fourth day of its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The rounds exploded near Metulla at the northern tip of the Galilee early on Friday, but resulted in no casualties and no damage to property, Army Radio reported. It was the first time since the launch of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza that Israel was targeted from the north.
The Israel Defense Forces fired back into Lebanon, hitting an area close to the Lebanese village of Hatzbiyah. Lebanese media reported that blood was found at the site from which the fire was launched into Israel, suggesting casualties from the Israeli response.
Also on Friday, projectile detection systems set off alarm sirens in Haifa for the first time since the start of the operation, which began earlier this week after Hamas militants launched dozens of rockets into Israel’s south. No hits were detected. Haifa City readied and opened its shelters on Wednesday, as Hamas fired rockets at Zichron Ya’akov, a suburb of the northern city.
A woman in her seventies collapsed and died on Friday of heart failure while running to a shelter in Wadi Nisnas, a neighborhood in downtown Haifa with Jewish and Arab residents.
Approximately 350 rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel by Friday, 90 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome projectile defense system, which engages inbound objects only if their trajectory is likely to result in impact in populated areas.
The Israel Air Force had carried out approximately 900 strikes in Gaza during the operation, Israel Radio reported. Palestinian officials said the strikes resulted in the deaths of some 100 of Palestinians, including civilians.
Of the eight killed overnight, the New York Times reported, five were members of a single family in the southern city of Rafah, and one was a ten year old girl in the same town.