Israel returns fire as Gaza rockets pound south
Missiles fire persists throughout Sunday, causing fire and damaging building
Gazan terrorists launched some 30 rockets at Israel Sunday, causing little damage but fraying nerves as a marked uptick in missile fire showed no signs of abetting.
A morning lull was broken by a volley of nine rockets in the early afternoon, and missiles continued to hit southern Israel into the night.
Most landed in open areas. One rocket caused a fire and another damaged an agricultural building, the Israeli military said. There were no reports of injuries.
Israeli forces returned mortar fire into the southern strip Sunday evening, according to media reports.
In the morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged ministers to act “calmly and responsibly” in the face of the most recent escalation of violence, but also reiterated that Israel would not hesitate to wield military force to restore calm to its southern communities.
Overnight Saturday, Israel Air Force jets struck 10 “terror sites” in the central and southern Gaza Strip overnight Saturday following escalated rocket barrages on Israeli communities in recent days, including a series of rockets aimed at Beersheba on Saturday, one of which was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
On Saturday evening, Hamas upped its rhetoric, threatening to reach “all” of Israel’s cities with its rockets.
While Netanyahu was joined in his appeal for restraint by several other Israeli politicians, including Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Labor MK Eitan Cabel, former Shin Bet chief Yaakov Peri warned that continued provocation from Gaza would require a broad IDF operation.