Gaza rocket barrage sets off sirens in Ashdod, other southern communities
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Live updates (closed)

Over 400 rockets shot from Gaza since Saturday morning, IDF says

Army says it has hit 180 sites in Gaza; rocket sirens sound after short break; Gazans say death toll in Strip up to 6, including mother and baby Israel says it did not kill

A picture taken in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 5, 2019 shows an explosion following an airstrike by Israel. (Said Khatib/AFP)
A picture taken in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 5, 2019 shows an explosion following an airstrike by Israel. (Said Khatib/AFP)

This blog, covering events from Saturday-early Sunday (May 4-5) is closed. Our live coverage continues here.

Rocket warning sirens activated in Beit Shemesh, southern regional councils

The Israel Defense Forces says rocket warning sirens have sounded in the Jerusalem-area city of Beit Shemesh.

It also says sirens have sounded in the Lachish, Yoav, Hof Ashkelon and Shafir regional councils.

Woman in Kiryat Gat wounded by shrapnel from Gaza rocket

A woman in the southern city of Kiryat Gat has been wounded by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, Israeli television reports.

She is said to be in moderate to serious condition after being hit in the face by shrapnel from the rocket.

Iron Dome intercepts 2 rockets fired at Ashdod

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at the southern port city of Ashdod, according to Israeli television.

Woman injured by rocket shrapnel in serious but stable condition

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says a woman in Kiryat Gat is in serious but stable condition after being wounded by shrapnel from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.

MDA says the woman has been taken to Barzilai Hospital in the coastal city of Ashkelon.

Home Front Command issues new instructions for Israelis amid Gaza rocket fire

The IDF’s Home Front Command issues new instructions for residents of southern Israel following the firing of over 100 rockets from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory.

The instructions, which include a ban on agricultural work and limitations on the size of public gatherings and the number of people who can be at commercial centers, apply to communities in the border area near Gaza, the central Negev, Lachish region and southern Shfela plain.

IDF: Over 150 rockets fired from Gaza, dozens intercepted by Iron Dome

The IDF says some 150 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory since this morning.

It says the Iron Defense missile defense system has intercepted dozens of the Gaza rockets.

Man in Ashkelon moderately injured by Gaza rocket

A man in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon was moderately injured by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, according to Magen David Adom.

MDA says the 49-year-old was hurt by shrapnel and was taken to the hospital after being treated at the scene.

Rocket strikes home in southern Israeli community; none injured

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip strikes a home in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, a spokesperson for the community says.

No one was injured by the rocket, the spokesperson adds.

A home in southern Israel’s Shaar Hanegev Regional Council damaged by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip is seen on May 4, 2019. (Shaar Hanegiv Regional Council)

IDF says aircraft continuing to strike Gaza targets over rocket fire

The IDF says Israeli aircraft and attack helicopters have continued to strike targets linked to terror groups in the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fire.

Israel closes Gaza border crossings over rocket fire

The Defense Ministry body responsible for liaising with the Palestinians announces the closure of the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings with the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave.

Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun, the head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, also announces the closure of the fishing zone off the coastal territory. He says all of the closures are until further notice.

Islamic Jihad threatens attack on Dimona reactor, Ben Gurion Airport

The military wing of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad terror group releases a video threatening rocket attacks on the nuclear reactor in Dimona and other sensitive sites in Israel.

The release of the video, which shows members of the Iran-backed group loading projectiles into a rocket launcher, comes amid a round of fighting between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

In addition to the Dimona reactor, the video also shows footage of the Ben Gurion Airport, the Ashdod port and refineries in the northern city of Haifa.

Rocket warning sirens sound in southern communities

Rocket warning sirens sound in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Sdot Hanegev regional councils, according to the IDF.

Rocket warning sirens activated in Ashkelon, southern regions

The IDF says rocket warning sirens have been activated in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, as well as in the Hof Ashkelon, Eshkol, Sdot Negov and Sha’ar Hanegev regional councils.

Army hits cross-border Islamic Jihad tunnel, warns of further strikes in Gaza

The army is warning it will expand strikes in the Gaza Strip if rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave continues.

IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis says during retaliatory strikes, Israeli forces hit a tunnel dug by Islamic Jihad that crosses the border into Israel.

“In recent weeks [Islamic Jihad] has accelerated its digging in order to carry out an attack,” he says.

Manelis says Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza, is working in cooperation with Islamic Jihad and that the IDF is striking targets linked to both terror organizations

He adds that the army believes five to six members of the group have been killed since yesterday when the IDF struck a Hamas post on the border in response to a sniper attack on Israeli troops.

Netanyahu told IDF ‘to give a hard blow’ to Gaza terror groups — official

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the army “to give a hard blow” to terror groups in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian territory, a defense official is quoted as saying by Hebrew media.

The comment comes after Netanyahu, who is also defense minister, huddled with top security officials this afternoon for talks on the flare-up in the south.

The security cabinet will meet tomorrow to discuss the latest violence in Gaza, the Prime Minister’s Office said earlier today.

Sirens blare in southern cities of Sderot, Netivot

Rocket warning sirens are activated in the southern cities of Sderot and Netivot, the army says.

Sirens also sounded in the Sdot Hanegev and Sha’ar Hanegev regional councils.

2nd home in Sha’ar Hanegev reported hit by Gaza rocket

A second home in a community in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council has been hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, according to Hebrew media reports.

There are no reports of injuries.

IDF: 200 rockets fired from Gaza since morning, dozens intercepted

The IDF says some 200 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel since this morning, with dozens intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Rocket that reportedly hit home landed outside of Gaza-area community

A rocket that reportedly hit a home in a community in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in fact landed close to, but outside of the community’s perimeter fence, a spokesperson for the council says.

Gaza terror groups threaten to up response if Israeli ‘aggression’ continues

Terror groups in the Gaza Strip warn they will increase attacks on Israel if the Israeli military continues to carry out strikes in response to rocket fire from the coastal enclave.

“We warn the enemy that our response will be even more severe and widespread in the event that it expands its aggression. We will remain the shield of our people and our land,” the so-called joint operations room says in a statement.

IDF releases video of strike on Islamic Jihad tunnel, says it has hit 70 targets in Gaza

The IDF releases footage of a strike it carried out in the Gaza Strip on a cross-border tunnel it says was dug by Islamic Jihad.

The army also says it has carried out some 70 strikes in Gaza in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave.

Rocket sirens sound in southern cities of Ashkelon, Netivot

Rocket warning sirens are activated in the southern cities of Ashkelon and Netivot, according to the IDF.

The sirens are also heard in the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev and Sdot Hanegev regional councils.

Eurovision event in Modiin canceled amid Gaza violence

An event scheduled for this evening in Modiin, celebrating the opening of the Eurovision Song Contest later this month, has been canceled due to the escalation of violence between Gaza-based terror groups and the IDF, according to Hebrew media reports.

IDF says prepared for rocket fire at Tel Aviv, will call up some reservists

IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis says the military has air defense systems in place in case of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip toward the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

Asked by Channel 13 if the IDF is interested in quickly ending the current round of fighting with Palestinian terror groups in light of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, Manelis says he did not hear the term “to end” during consultations today.

He says the IDF is prepared for the fighting to last a few days and will call up some reservists from intelligence and air defense units, as well as the Home Front Command, when Shabbat ends after nightfall this evening.

Official: No efforts at moment to reach ceasefire between Israel, Gaza terror groups

A senior defense official briefs Hebrew media that there are currently no efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

Separately, IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis tells Channel 13 news that the IDF is not connected to any ceasefire talks and that Israel has honored its side of an unofficial agreement with the Gaza-ruling Hamas to prevent violence on the border.

Hamas claims Gaza baby killed in Israeli strike; IDF says it’s only hitting military sites

A Palestinian baby was killed by an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the Hamas-run health ministry in the enclave says.

The ministry said “baby Sabaa Arar, aged one year and two months, was killed and her mother, who is pregnant, was seriously injured” when their house was hit in one of the Israeli strikes that came in response to dozens of Gaza rockets fired at Israel.

An Israeli army spokeswoman says the military does not have any information on the incident. The army says it is targeting only military sites in its response to the rocket fire.

The Gaza health ministry adds that a total of two people have been killed and 18 injured since this morning in the Israeli strikes.

— with AFP

EU calls for Gaza rocket fire at Israel to ‘stop immediately’

BRUSSELS — The European Union calls for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel to “stop immediately” and throws its backing behind efforts by Egypt and the UN to calm the situation.

“The rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel must stop immediately. A de-escalation of this dangerous situation is urgently needed to ensure that civilians’ lives are protected,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic says in a statement.

— AFP

Army releases video of Islamic Jihad work on cross-border Gaza tunnel

The IDF releases video of what it says is work by Islamic Jihad on a cross-border tunnel near the southern Gaza city of Rafah that was destroyed today in an Israeli strike.

The army says the footage shows “the work of removing the dirt from the opening of the tunnel in a methodical manner and under civilian disguise.”

Hamas ministry: Mother wounded in Israeli strike succumbs to wounds

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reports that a third Palestinian, a 37-year-old pregnant woman, succumbed to wounds sustained in an Israeli strike.

The woman is said to be the mother of a 14-month-old baby who was reportedly killed in the same airstrike.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket alert sirens heard in Ashkelon, nearby communities

Incoming rocket alert sirens sound south of Ashkelon, in its industrial zone and in the communities of Zikim and Karmia just below the city.

— Judah Ari Gross

Video shows rocket hitting Kiryat Gat, injuring 80-year-old woman

Israeli television airs video from earlier today showing a 80-year-old woman in the southern city of Kiryat Gat being injured as a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip explodes.

IDF hits 120 targets in Gaza after rocket fire, says ready for further strikes

The Israeli military says it has attacked some 120 targets in the Gaza Strip after hundreds of rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel throughout the day, injuring two people, including an 80-year-old woman who was seriously injured after a rocket exploded in Kiryat Gat.

The army says it is prepared to continue conducting airstrikes if the attacks from the Strip continue.

According to the IDF, it targeted bases and facilities controlled by the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups throughout the Strip, including an Islamic Jihad cross-border attack tunnel.

The military says it also destroyed an underground Hamas rocket production facility.

“This facility is unique in its manufacturing capabilities and is a key capability of the group to produce rockets in the Strip,” the army says.

Judah Ari Gross

School canceled in Ashkelon on Sunday amid Gaza rocket fire

Ashkelon cancels all school classes tomorrow after a number of rockets were fired at the southern coastal city amid fighting between Gaza-based terror groups and Israel.

Rocket sirens activated in Kiryat Gat, Gaza periphery

Rocket sirens sound throughout the Gaza periphery, as terror groups in the Strip fire a fresh barrage at the area.

Sirens also sound in the city of Kiryat Gat and surrounding communities, some 20 kilometers from the Gaza Strip.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF cancels school Sunday in Gaza-area; only workplaces with bomb shelter can open

The Israeli military cancels school for the cities and towns close to the Gaza Strip, as terror groups in the enclave showed no sign of halting their rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel.

Workplaces will only be allowed open if they have access to a bomb shelter.

Gatherings of more than 300 people also will not be allowed, including in shopping centers.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF says it struck Gaza City building used by Hamas intelligence services

The IDF says it bombed a multi-story building in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City that was used by the Hamas terror group’s intelligence service, in response to the ongoing rocket and mortar attacks from the coastal enclave.

— Judah Ari Gross

Projectile lands in yard of Ofakim home; no injuries

A projectile landed in the yard of a home in the town of Ofakim. No injuries were reported.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rivlin condemns ‘dreadful terror’ from Gaza, says Israel will respond ‘forcefully’

President Reuven Rivlin issues a statement in response to today’s rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Fresh round of rocket sirens sound in Ofakim, surrounding area

A new round of rocket sirens sounds in the town of Ofakim and surrounding communities.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Sappers called to defuse rocket after ‘direct hit’ on Kiryat Gat building

Police sappers are called to defuse a rocket that hit a building in the southern city of Kiryat Gat.

“This was a direct hit on a public building that no one was in at the time,” police say in a statement.

An 80-year-old woman was seriously injured earlier today by shrapnel from a rocket that exploded in the city.

Police sappers are seen at a building in the southern city of Kiryat Gat that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on May 4, 2019. (Israel Police)

Turkey’s FM slams Israel over strike that hit Gaza building housing Turkish news agency

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu issues a sharp condemnation of Israel after a building in Gaza City that housed the offices of Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency was reportedly hit in an Israeli airstrike.

 

Fresh rocket barrage fired at Ofakim

A fresh barrage of rockets is fired from the Gaza Strip toward the town of Ofakim and surrounding communities, triggering sirens throughout the area.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket sirens sound in Ashdod, Ashkelon area

Rocket sirens sound in the coastal city of Ashdod, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Gaza Strip, and the industrial zone south of Ashkelon, the army says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Gaza terror groups up rocket fire as Israel hits multi-story buildings in Strip

Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip have stepped up their rocket and mortar attacks in recent hours, firing multiple fusillades at cities and towns throughout southern Israel, following Israeli airstrikes on two multi-story buildings in the coastal enclave, one of which the military says housed the Hamas terror group’s military intelligence service.

— Judah Ari Gross

Iron Dome activated as rockets fired toward Ashdod

The Iron Dome missile defense system is activated as rockets are fired toward the city of Ashdod.

Several of the system’s interceptor missiles are fired at incoming projectiles. It is not immediately clear how many rockets have been shot down.

— Judah Ari Gross

UN envoy says working with Egypt to end Gaza fighting

The United Nations envoy for Middle East peace says the UN and Egypt are working together to end the current round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

“The United Nations is working with Egypt and all sides to calm the situation. I call on all parties to immediately de-escalate and return to the understandings of the past few months. Those who seek to destroy them will bear responsibility for a conflict that will have grave consequences for all,” Nikolay Mladenov says in a statement.

“Continuing down the current path of escalation will quickly undo what has been achieved and destroy the chances for long term solutions to the crisis. This endless cycle of violence must end, and efforts must accelerate to realize a political solution to the crisis in Gaza,” he adds.

Mladenov also says the flare-up “jeopardizes the significant progress made in recent weeks to relieve the suffering of people in Gaza, lift the closures, and support intra-Palestinian reconciliation.”

Israeli aircraft said to strike cell launching rockets in Gaza

Palestinian media reports an Israeli aircraft targeted a cell launching rockets at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip, killing one of them and wounded others.

This is not immediately confirmed by Israeli officials.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF says 250 rockets fired from Gaza reached Israel

The IDF says some 250 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip today reached Israeli territory, dozens of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The army adds that 70 percent of the rockets landed in open areas.

Hamas ministry puts death toll in Israeli strikes at 4

A Palestinian was killed by an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip late Saturday, the Hamas-run health ministry in the enclave says, bringing the Palestinian death toll for the day to four.

A spokesman for the health ministry tells AFP Khaled Abu Qleiq, 25, was hit and killed by an Israeli strike in northern Gaza.

Israeli air and tank strikes were launched in response to some 250 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, according to the army.

— AFP

Rocket sirens blare in kibbutz near Beersheba

Rocket alert sirens sound in the community of Kibbutz Hatzerim, just outside Beersheba, and in a number of other towns in southern Israel as terror groups in the Gaza Strip step up their attacks.

— Judah Ari Gross

Erdogan: Israeli strike won’t stop news agency reporting on ‘Israeli terrorism’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issues a statement on his Twitter account harshly condemning Israel over an airstrike on a building in the Gaza Strip that reportedly housed the offices of Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

Israel defends targeting of Gaza building housing Turkish news agency

The Israeli military defends its targeting of the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency, which prompted outcries of condemnation from Ankara, saying the eight-story building was used by the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups to conduct terrorist activities.

“The structure that was attacked was used by Hamas’s West Bank task force, which is responsible for directing terrorist operatives in the Judea and Samaria region to create terrorist infrastructure and to pass messages for terrorist activities and for transferring money and logistical support in order to carry out terror attacks against Israeli civilians,” the army says in a statement.

The military says the building also housed offices of senior members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which were “used for terrorist purposes.”

— Judah Ari Gross

Fresh rocket salvo sets off rocket sirens in Beersheba

A fresh barrage of rockets is fired from the Gaza Strip toward the city of Beersheba and surrounding towns, as well as the coastal city of Ashkelon, sending tens of thousands of people rushing to bomb shelters.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF says it doesn’t believe baby, mother were killed in strike on Gaza

The IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman says the military does not believe that a Palestinian mother and baby were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

“There are more and more indications reaching us from the Gaza Strip that put serious doubt on the truth of the statement from Hamas’s healthy ministry about the death of the baby Saba Mahmoud Hamdan Abu Arar and her mother Falastin Saleh Abu Arar,” Maj. Avichay Adraee says in a tweet.

“According to these indications, the death was caused by terrorist activities by Palestinian militants and not by an Israeli strike,” he says.

Adraee indicates that the deaths may have been caused by a failed rocket attack against Israel.

“Will the health ministry in Gaza admit the truth or continue to cover up the lies of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas?” he asks.

— Judah Ari Gross

Iron Dome activated as rockets fired at Beersheba

The Iron Dome missile defense system is activated as rockets are fired toward the southern city of Beersheba.

Several interceptor missiles are fired toward incoming projectiles. It is not yet clear how many have been shot down.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Gaza rocket barrage sets off sirens in Ashdod, other southern communities

A fresh round of sirens sound throughout southern Israel as Palestinian terrorists fire multiple barrages from the Gaza Strip.

The sirens are heard in the cities of Ashdod, Ofakim and Kiryat Malachi, and in smaller communities in the Merhavim, Hevel Yavne, Be’er Tuvia and Eshkol regions, the army says.

— Judah Ari Gross

School, house in Beersheba reported hit by Gaza rockets

Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have hit a school and house in the southern city of Beersheba, according to Israeli television.

There are no reports of injuries. Channel 13 says the rocket sparked a fire in the school.

Man in Bedouin town lightly hurt by rocket shrapnel

A 45-year-old man is lightly injured as he is hit by shrapnel from a rocket fired at the Bedouin town of Lakia in the northern Negev, medics say.

The man sustained injuries to his leg, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

In addition, a number of people nearby suffered anxiety attacks and required medical treatment, MDA says.

Police sappers are on the scene to remove the rocket fragments.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF says keeping up strikes on Gaza as rocket fire continues

As rockets continue to be fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military says it is keeping up its airstrikes on “terror targets” in the coastal enclave.

“At this time, the strikes by fighter jets on terror targets belonging to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups are continuing,” the army says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket sirens again sound in Beersheba; city says school not hit by projectile

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fire a fresh barrage toward the city of Beersheba, triggering rocket sirens in the city, Israel’s sixth largest.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The Beersheba Municipality denies a school in the city was hit by a rocket following earlier reports. It says a house there reportedly struck by a rocket was hit by shrapnel.

— with Judah Ari Gross

Beersheba hospital says it is preparing ‘for any possible scenario’

As rockets are launched toward the southern city of Beersheba, the local hospital says it is preparing “for any possible scenario.”

In a statement, the Soroka Medical Center says it is preparing to transfer patients with mobility issues to reinforced wings of the hospital.

For patients who are able to move, the hospital has set up clear signs pointing to the building’s bomb shelters.

— with Judah Ari Gross

6 in Beersheba treated for slight injuries linked to attacks

Six people with light injuries linked to Saturday’s fighting with Gaza were taken to Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center throughout the day, the hospital says.

They were hurt either while running to bomb shelters or required medical assistance after suffering anxiety attacks.

— Judah Ari Gross

Fresh rocket sirens in south

Rocket sirens sound in several communities on the Gaza border, breaking about an hour of quiet.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Rocket attacks reported near Ashkelon, Kerem Shalom

The fresh rocket attack triggers sirens in the city of Ashkelon and around the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Palestinians say Israel has continued to conduct airstrikes in southern Gaza.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket sirens sound in Lachish region

Rocket sirens are triggered in the Lachish region of southern Israel, east of the city of Ashdod, as terror groups in the Gaza Strip continue their attacks against Israel.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage caused by the rockets.

— Judah Ari Gross

Sirens in Ashkelon, Eshkol areas; mortar damages home

A fresh barrage from the Gaza Strip triggers sirens in the city of Ashkelon and the surrounding area, as well as the Eshkol region of southern Israel. There are no immediate reports of injuries in the attack.

A mortar shell fired several minutes before this attack landed outside a home in Eshkol, damaging the building and car parked outside, but causing no injuries.

Videos show rocket fire, airstrikes

A video published by Gaza’s Shehab news agency shows rockets being fired out of the Gaza Strip.

Another video published by the Hamas-linked agency shows reported Israeli airstrikes in the Strip.

Sirens in Be’er Tuvia, Kiryat Malachi

Sirens sound in the Be’er Tuvia region and the town of Kiryat Malachi northeast of the Gaza Strip.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rockets shot toward Lachish region

A fresh barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip targets the Lachish region of southern Israel, northeast of the Strip, triggering air raid sirens in the communities there.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

–Judah Ari Gross

Rocket sirens go off in Ofakim

Incoming rocket sirens are triggered in the city of Ofakim and the surrounding area, the army says.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

58 people treated by MDA during day of attack, most for anxiety

Israeli medics treated 58 people throughout the course of the day in southern Israel, most of them for anxiety attacks triggered by incoming rockets and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip, the Magen David Adom ambulance service says.

Three people were directly injured by incoming projectiles. A woman in her 80s sustained serious wounds when a rocket hit next to the bus stop where she was standing in Kiryat Gat. A man in his 50s was moderately hurt by shrapnel in Ashkelon, with injuries to his arms and legs. A 45-year-old man in the Bedouin town of Lakia was lightly wounded by shrapnel to his leg.

Women look at the damage caused by a rocket fired from Gaza that hit a house in a town in Israel near the border with Gaza, Saturday, May 4, 2019. (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

Ten people were lightly injured as they fell running to bomb shelters.

The remaining 45 suffered panic attacks brought on by the rockets and mortar shells, MDA says.

— Judah Ari Gross

More rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon area

A fresh round of rocket attacks targets the city of Ashkelon and the communities south of it, triggering sirens throughout the area.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

Washington backs Israel’s right to self defense against Gazan rockets

The United States says it condemns Gazan rocket attacks on Israel and backs the Jewish state’s right to self-defense.

“The United States strongly condemns the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel. We call on those responsible for the violence to cease this aggression immediately,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus says in a statement.

“We stand with Israel and fully support its right to self defense against these abhorrent attacks.”

— AFP

Rocket sirens sound near Sderot

Rocket sirens sound in several communities near Sderot adjacent to the Gaza Strip as barrages continue into the pre-dawn hours.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Rocket fire targets Lachish, Sderot areas

More rocket sirens sound in the Lachish region east of Ashdod, and in the Sderot area.

Rocket sirens heard in Ashkelon, Lachish areas

Sirens sound in the Ashkelon region as a rocket barrage is fired toward the city’s industrial zone.

Sirens also sound in the Lachish region and communities closer to the Gaza Strip.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Gazans report strike on building

Gaza’s Shehab news agency reports that Israeli airstrikes have targeted the six-story Ghessein Building in Gaza City.

Video reported to show apartment in Sderot hit by rocket

A video posted online purports to show the aftermath of a rocket strike on an apartment building in Sderot.

The veracity of the video cannot be immediately confirmed.

It is not clear if there are any injuries from the strike.

The city and surrounding area has been targeted by several rocket barrages in the last half hour.

Man reported seriously injured in rocket strike on home

A man has been seriously injured after a rocket hit a home in Ashkelon, according to several Hebrew-media reports.

The man, in his 50s, has been taken to the city’s Barzilai hospital. Some reports list his condition as critical.

He would be the fourth Israeli injury since hostilities began Saturday morning.

Gazans report two people killed in strikes

Palestinians report two Gazans were killed in Israeli strikes on the Bureij refugee camp.

There is no immediate confirmation of the reports.

Man said to suffer shrapnel wounds to chest and face

An Israeli man wounded in Ashkelon is said to have suffered shrapnel wounds to his chest and face.

Video published online reportedly shows the aftermath of the rocket strike on his home.

 

Five reported lightly hurt in second rocket strike

Israel’s Army Radio reports five other people were lightly injured in another rocket strike.

A paramedic tells the outlet that two of those injured are minors.

Video published earlier reportedly showed a rocket strike on a Sderot apartment building.

Man declared killed in Ashkelon rocket strike

The man wounded in Ashkelon has died of his injuries, according to several Hebrew-language media outlets.

The fatality marks the first Israeli killed in hostilities with Gaza since the 2014 war with terrorists based in the Strip.

Video shows aftermath of Ashkelon rocket hit

Video from the home in Ashkelon hit by a rocket shows shrapnel puncturing a window in the kitchen and other damage.

 

Israeli strikes reported in Gaza

Palestinians report Israeli airstrikes are continuing throughout the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas-linked Shehab news site reports strikes on a naval position near Rafah and near Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza.

The Quds news outlet publishes photos of devastation to the Ghussein building in Gaza.

 

Islamic Jihad armed wing says two of its fighters killed

Islamic Jihad says two men killed in bombing sorties overnight were fighters in the group’s Quds Brigade armed wing.

Mahmoud Sobhi Issa, 26, and Fawzi Abdel Halim Bawadi, 24, are named as the two men killed in the Bureij refugee camp.

A picture taken in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 5, 2019 shows an explosion following an airstrike by Israel. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

The two bring the Palestinian death toll to six, including a woman and a baby killed in an explosion that Israel insists it was not responsible for. The Defense Ministry said the two were likely killed by a failed rocket launch.

Gazans break from shooting rockets, but will it last?

It has been over two hours since the last reported rocket attack on Israel, the longest respite since Palestinian terrorists began lobbing projectiles at about 10 a.m. Saturday.

The last siren to go off was at 2:43 a.m. in the Eshkol region.

With no ceasefire in place and Israeli strikes reported to be continuing in Gaza, leading to two Palestinians killed, the rest period is likely temporary.

US envoy Greenblatt condemns rockets, backs Israel

With Shabbat out in America, US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt has taken to Twitter to condemn the rocket fire from Gaza and back Israel’s retaliatory actions.

“Hamas & PIJ have engaged in yet another deplorable act of terrorism, indiscriminately firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian communities. The U.S. stands firmly in support of Israel’s right to self-defense and we call on the international community to do the same,” he tweets.

He also accuses the terror groups of preventing “the world from trying to help the Palestinians in Gaza.”

Ashkelon mayor: We are all in mourning

Ashkelon Mayor Tomer Galam says in a video that the city is in mourning over the death of a resident in a rocket attack.

“This is a tough hour for Ashkelon. We are all mourning. We are hurt and broken from the enormity of the tragedy that has befallen one of the oldest and most well-known families in the city,” he says.

The man who was killed has not been named by authorities.

His brother-in-law, who lives nearby, tells the Walla news site he ran over to the home that was hit after hearing the impact.

“I heard him screaming and I called an ambulance,” he says. “The rocket sirens were not stopping.”

A neighbor says there is heavy damage to the house that suffered a direct hit and other homes around it.

“This needs to stop already,” the neighbor tells Walla.

Rocket sirens go off in Lachish after three-hour break

Rocket sirens sound in the Lachish area as the sun rises, the first attack from Gaza in almost three hours.

Magen David: Six treated for shrapnel wounds overnight

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it treated 24 people from the hours of 2 a.m. to 5 a.m., including six who were injured by rocket shrapnel.

Two other were treated for light injuries sustained while running to shelters and 16 more for anxiety attacks related to the rocket fire.

In total the rescue service has treated 83 people since the start of hostilities Saturday morning, including nine for shrapnel wounds.

Rocket fire returns to communities near Gaza border

Fresh rocket sirens ring out in the communities of Nahal Oz and Alumim near the Gaza border.

Over 200,000 kids in south get day off school

Some 210,000 students who attend school in Israel’s south will get a day off because of continuing tensions with Gaza. Authorities have ordered all schools within a 40-kilometer radius of the Strip to remain closed Sunday.

Authorities also say workplaces that do not have access to a bomb shelter will be shut, but all others are remaining open.

Some parents are unhappy about the arrangement.

“I don’t understand how it’s possible to cancel school without shutting non-essential workplaces,” one mother is quoted telling the Maariv news site. “Who will watch our kids, Iron Dome?”

 

IDF: 180 rockets shot overnight, 60 sites in Gaza hit by airstrikes

The Israel Defense Forces says 180 rockets were fired at Israel late Saturday and early Sunday morning, bringing the total of rockets shot since fighting began Saturday morning to about 430.

Of those, over 100 were shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense system, which had about a 90 percent success rate, according to the military.

The army says it his 60 sites in Gaza overnight, bringing its total to about 180.

Pictures published by the army of what it says was a cross-border tunnel that it bombed Saturday show a truck bringing dirt out of the site, which it says is proof of digging activity.

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Gaza rocket barrage sets off sirens in Ashdod, other southern communities

A fresh round of sirens sound throughout southern Israel as Palestinian terrorists fire multiple barrages from the Gaza Strip.

The sirens are heard in the cities of Ashdod, Ofakim and Kiryat Malachi, and in smaller communities in the Merhavim, Hevel Yavne, Be’er Tuvia and Eshkol regions, the army says.

— Judah Ari Gross