Gaza school damaged by failed rocket launch — Israeli general

Yoav Mordechai shares photos of damage to classroom in Beit Hanoun after latest missile volley

The window of a Gaza schoolroom hit by a failed rocket launch, December 13, 2017 (Facebook/COGAT)
The window of a Gaza schoolroom hit by a failed rocket launch, December 13, 2017 (Facebook/COGAT)

A rocket launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip Wednesday evening fell inside the Palestinian territory and hit a public school, damaging a classroom, a top IDF official said.

The rocket “destroyed” an empty classroom in Beit Hanoun’s Ghazi al-Shawa public school, according to Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry liaison with the Palestinians.

The rocket was apparently one of at least four that were fired at Israel Wednesday night, amid mounting tensions. Two rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, and a third landed in an open field in the Eshkol region.

The Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of the Government’s Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai. (Screenshot)

On his Facebook page, Mordechai posted pictures of what appeared to be damage at the school, apparently taken from a newscast. It was not immediately clear where the pictures were obtained from and the damage to the school could not be immediately confirmed.

“The terrorist groups in Gaza unequivocally demonstrate what we say once again: They are destroying the future of their children with their own hands. Just think what would have happened if the shell had been fired during the day when the class was full of your children,” he wrote.

#القبة_الحديدية اعترضت هذا المساء قذيفتين صاروخيتين تم اطلاقهما من #قطاع_غزة. ما لم يخبروكم هو ما حدث مع قذيفة أخرى…

Posted by ‎المنسق‎ on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Israel has suffered a marked increase in rocket fire in recent days, with about a dozen projectiles being launched from the Gaza Strip since last week. The tensions have apparently been fed by Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Protesting US President Donald Trump’s declaration last week that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital, terror group Hamas, which runs Gaza and seeks Israel’s destruction, called for a new intifada and vowed to liberate Jerusalem.

Israel has responded to the rocket fire by launching retaliatory strikes on Hamas positions in the Strip.

According to Israeli assessments, the rockets are not being launched by Hamas, but by other terrorist groups in the Strip.

The recent increase in rocket attacks has prompted Israeli politicians to call for harsher retaliations.

Before the rocket fire, the Hadashot television news outlet on Wednesday reported that the Israeli military was planning to take “dramatically” more aggressive action in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, in light of the increase in the number of launches.

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