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Amid reported truce, most schools in southern Israel to open Monday

Palestinian reports say ceasefire in effect since 4:30 a.m., no rockets fired for several hours after ‘intensive’ Egyptian, UN efforts to broker Gaza ceasefire

  • Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip fire rockets toward Israel from on May 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
    Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip fire rockets toward Israel from on May 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
  • Israeli emergency personnel evacuate a wounded woman from the site of rocket attack in the southern town of Ashdod on May 5, 2019. (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
    Israeli emergency personnel evacuate a wounded woman from the site of rocket attack in the southern town of Ashdod on May 5, 2019. (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
  • A car bursts into flames after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod on May 5, 2019. (Flash90)
    A car bursts into flames after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod on May 5, 2019. (Flash90)
  • Smoke billows above buildings in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip during an Israeli airstrike on the Palestinian coastal enclave, on May 5, 2019. (Said KHATIB / AFP)
    Smoke billows above buildings in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip during an Israeli airstrike on the Palestinian coastal enclave, on May 5, 2019. (Said KHATIB / AFP)
  • Palestinians carry an injured boy outside a hospital in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza strip on May 5, 2019. (ANAS BABA / AFP)
    Palestinians carry an injured boy outside a hospital in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza strip on May 5, 2019. (ANAS BABA / AFP)
  • The scene of a car hit by a missile fired from the Gaza Strip near the Israel-Gaza border on May 5, 2019. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)
    The scene of a car hit by a missile fired from the Gaza Strip near the Israel-Gaza border on May 5, 2019. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)
  • Ultra Orthoodx Jews stand outside the funeral of Pinchas Menahem Prezuazman in Jerusalem on May 5, 2019. Prezuazman was killed by shrapnel from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashdod earlier Sunday . Hadas Parush/Flash90)
    Ultra Orthoodx Jews stand outside the funeral of Pinchas Menahem Prezuazman in Jerusalem on May 5, 2019. Prezuazman was killed by shrapnel from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashdod earlier Sunday . Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s and Monday’s events as they unfolded.

Man killed in rocket attack named as Moshe Agadi, 58

Media reports name the Ashkelon man killed by a rocket as Moshe Agadi, 58, a father of four.

The reports say the rocket landed next to Agadi’s home, while he wasn’t in a rocket shelter. He suffered shrapnel wounds in his stomach and chest and was taken to Barzilai hospital, where doctors pronounced his death.

He is the first Israeli killed in the flareup of violence that began over the weekend.

More than 400 rockets have been fired at Israel by terror groups from the Gaza Strip since Saturday, Israel’s military says, and Israel has responded with air and tank strikes.

— With AFP

Moshe Agadi was hit by rocket shrapnel while on cigarette break — brother

Shai Agadi, the brother of Moshe Agadi, a 58-year-old father of four killed by a rocket in Ashkelon, mourns him on Army Radio.

“We don’t know how to continue from here. If Moshe was here he would have given us hope. We are helpless.”

Another brother, Shmuel, tells Israel Radio that Moshe “went out to smoke a cigarette between barrage and barrage [of rockets] and didn’t make it in time to the rocket shelter. They tried to resuscitate him but they lost him on the way to the hospital.”

Gaza terror groups say they are mulling increasing rocket range to over 40 km

In a joint statement, the military wings of Gaza-based terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad threaten to increase the range of the rockets launched at Israel, after more than 400 projectiles were fired since yesterday, killing an Israeli man.

“A barrage of about 50 rockets was fired at the area of Ashkelon, and we are weighing increasing the fire to more than 40 kilometers in the coming hours if the aggression continues,” the statement says, referring to the Israeli retaliatory strikes in Gaza that have targeted Hamas targets and killed six people.

In light of Israel’s “insistence on hitting houses, the Palestinian resistance decided to react in an unprecedented way,” the terror groups add, according to a translation by the Ynet news site.

Rocket alarms sound in Sderot, Sha’ar Hanegev after several hour lull

Fresh rocket sirens sound in the Sha’ar Hanegev region of southern Israel and in the nearby town of Sderot, after several hours without a rocket strike from Gaza.

The apparent attack comes as the Israeli military continues to conduct airstrikes in the Strip.

— Judah Ari Gross

Gaza ministry says 10 Palestinians killed; 6 identified as terror group members

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says ten Palestinians have been killed since Friday, when the current flareup with Israel began.

Three of the fatalities are identified as operatives of the Hamas terror group and three others as members of Islamic Jihad, according to Israel’s Channel 13.

The toll includes a pregnant mother, her 14-month-old infant and her unborn child. Israel has said those deaths were the result of a failed rocket launch by Gaza terror groups, not an IDF strike.

Moshe Agadi, killed by rocket from Gaza, to be buried at 4 p.m.

Media outlets publish a photo of Moshe Agadi, 58, killed early this morning by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip by Palestinian terror groups.

His funeral will be held today at 4 p.m. at the Ashkelon Alternative Cemetery.

Moshe Agadi, 58, who was killed when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip scored a direct hit on his home in Ashkelon in southern Israel early on May 5, 2019 (courtesy)

Israel allows fuel shipment into Gaza to prevent ‘humanitarian deterioration’

Israel allows fuel into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing despite the closure of the passage the day before in response to ongoing rocket attacks from the coastal enclave, an Israeli official says.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the decision was made to “prevent the civilian-humanitarian deterioration of the Strip.”

— Judah Ari Gross

Israel said to strike homes of more than 30 Hamas, Islamic Jihad commanders

The Israeli Air Force continues to strike targets in Gaza, reportedly bombing the private homes of more than 30 Hamas and Islamic Jihad mid-level commanders throughout the Strip.

Some of the buildings were housing weapons, the army says.

Foreign Ministry calls on world to condemn rocket fire from Gaza

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon calls on the world to condemn the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza “in the strongest possible terms.”

In a short English-language clip posted on his Twitter account, Nahshon notes that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have shot 430 rockets and mortars at Israeli population centers, causing one fatality and several injuries.

“This is a situation we cannot accept. We will hit back — we will make sure that the Palestinian terror organization are not able to continue with these attacks, and we ask the international community to condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” he says.

— Raphael Ahren

Rishon Lezion municipality opens bomb shelters

The city of Rishon Lezion, south of Tel Aviv, opens its bomb shelters as terror groups in the Gaza Strip threaten to launch rockets deeper into Israel on Sunday.

“In light of the expanding range of fire, I have ordered the shelters be opened in order to increase preparedness for the security of residents of the city,” Rishon Lezion mayor Raz Kinstlich says in a statement.

— Judah Ari Gross

Italy expresses solidarity with Israel, decries ‘extremely heavy missile attack’

The Italian government releases a statement in support of Israel after a 24-hour-long flareup in and around the Gaza Strip that has seen more than 430 rockets fired by Palestinian terror groups and retaliatory Israeli strikes.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini says Israel has suffered an “extremely heavy missile attack,” and expresses solidarity with the Israeli people and prime minister.

President Rivlin sends condolences to family of Moshe Agadi

President Reuven Rivlin sends his condolences to the family of Moshe Agadi (58), father of four, killed in an overnight rocket attack from Gaza on Ashkelon.

“We send you a big consoling hug and share your great sadness,” Rivlin says in a tweet.

Anticipating continued fighting, IDF sends armored brigade to Gaza border

The IDF’s 7th Armored Brigade is being sent to the Gaza border as the military anticipates fighting in the Strip to continue in the coming days, IDF spokesperson Ronen Manelis says.

IDF tanks stationed near the Gaza border, March 27, 2019. (Dudi Modan/Flash90)

Manelis repeats a claim made by the military’s Arabic-language spokesman that a Palestinian mother and child were killed not by an Israeli airstrike — as alleged by the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry — but by a failed rocket launch by terrorists within a civilian populated area.

The spokesperson says he is unaware of ceasefire efforts. Israeli officials have routinely denied such claims in the past year, even when facts on the ground show that a de facto truce is in place.

— Judah Ari Gross

Gantz to urge ‘alternative approaches’ to Gaza in statement from Sderot

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz will tour the Gaza border communities this morning and give a press statement from the city of Sderot at 12.45 p.m., immediately before the Security Cabinet is set to meet in Tel Aviv.

Blue and White party head Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv, April 10, 2019 (Flash90)

The former IDF chief of staff, who is expected to become opposition leader, “will speak about alternative approaches that should be taken by the government and offer our support and commitment to the people of the south,” his spokesperson tells The Times of Israel.

Yesterday Gantz said that Israel must respond to the latest barrage of rockets from Gaza with “uncompromising force” in order to “restore the deterrence that has been eroded catastrophically for more than a year.”

— Raoul Wootliff

IDF says it has targeted group of Palestinian terrorists in northern Gaza

The Israeli military says one of its aircraft has targeted a group of Palestinian terrorist operatives in the northern Gaza Strip.

— Judah Ari Gross

Islamic Jihad says two of its members killed in Israeli strike on Gaza

Two Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed by an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip early today, the Islamist group says.

Mahmoud Issa and Fawzy Bwadi were killed during an Israeli “bombardment in the central Gaza Strip,” a statement says, hailing them as fighters.

Six Palestinians and an Israeli have been reported killed since a flareup in violence began yesterday, including a Gazan mother and baby whom Israel says were killed by a failed missile launch by terror groups.

Israel says some 430 rockets have been fired from the coastal enclave since yesterday and it has responded with waves of air and tank strikes.

— with AFP

IDF officially denies Gaza mother, baby killed by Israeli strike

Israel’s army denied claims from Hamas-run Gazan authorities that an Israeli strike killed a pregnant Palestinian mother and her baby, saying a misfired Hamas rocket was to blame for the deaths.

“The terror organization’s propaganda at its finest,” IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis says on Twitter.

“The mother and girl they’re claiming in Gaza that were killed in an (Israeli) attack were killed by Hamas use of weapons,” he adds.

Manelis is repeating a claim made earlier by the military’s Arabic-language spokesman that the deaths were caused by a failed rocket launch by terrorists within a civilian populated area.

Another military spokesman, Jonathan Conricus, tells journalists that based on intelligence, “we are now confident” that the deaths were not due to an Israeli strike.

“Their unfortunate deaths were not a result of (Israeli) weaponry but a Hamas rocket that was fired and exploded not where it was supposed to,” he said.

— with AFP

Authorities say rocket fired overnight from Gaza hit a kindergarten in Sderot

Officials find that a kindergarten in the southern town of Sderot was hit by shrapnel from a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip overnight, causing significant damage to the building.

A kindergarten in the southern town of Sderot that was hit by shrapnel from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that struck its courtyard on May 5, 2019. (Sderot Municipality)

The projectile struck just outside the school, sending rocket fragments smashing through walls, windows and furniture inside, according to a Sderot spokesperson.

The damage was not found until this morning as the school was closed over the weekend and was ordered shut by the military today as well as a precautionary measure.

The kindergarten will remain closed and the children will be sent to another school until the building can be fixed, the Sderot spokesperson says.

A kindergarten in the southern town of Sderot that was hit by shrapnel from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that struck its courtyard on May 5, 2019. (Sderot Municipality)

‘We have not yet begun,’ Hamas threatens Israel in message in Hebrew

The military wing of terror group Hamas posts a message in Hebrew on its website saying “we have not yet begun.”

The threat refers to some 450 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli communities since yesterday.

Israel’s UK embassy slams Independent for ignoring IDF claims on Gazan family’s death

The Israeli embassy in the United Kingdom denounces a headline and article in the Independent news website accepting as fact Palestinian claims that a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old baby were killed by an Israeli airstrike.

Israel has said the deaths were caused by a malfunctioning rocket that was fired by Palestinian terror groups and fell short of its target, inside the Gaza Strip.

The embassy spokesperson, Udi Avivi, slams the ‘shameful reporting’ and accuses the British paper of “buying into Hamas propaganda.”

Rocket sirens blare in Israeli communities after hours-long lull

After an hours-long lull, rocket sirens sound in the communities of Alumim and Nahal Oz just east of the Gaza Strip.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

— Judah Ari Gross

Netanyahu says he has ordered IDF to continue ‘massive attacks’ in Gaza

Speaking at the beginning of the cabinet meeting at the Knesset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has ordered the army to “continue the massive attacks against terror targets in the Gaza Strip and boost the forces around Gaza with ground, armored and artillery forces.”

“Hamas bears responsibility not only for its attacks and actions, but also for the Islamic Jihad actions, and it is paying a very heavy price for it,” Netanyahu continues.

He also asks Israelis to obey instructions by the Home Front Command regarding safety measures against rocket attacks.

He sends condolences to the family of Moshe Agadi, 58, killed when a projectile hit his yard in Ashkelon, and sends wishes for quick recovery to the wounded.

“We are acting and will continue to act to restore calm and security to residents of the south,” Netanyahu adds.

Health Ministry opens clinic in Ashdod for psychological assistance to residents

The Health Ministry opens a so-called “resilience clinic” in the city of Ashdod to provide psychological assistance for residents after the area was targeted in multiple waves of rocket attacks overnight.

The clinic is within the mental health office run by the Leumit health care provider at Ahad Ha’am Street in Ashdod, but is available to patients of any insurance company. It will be open from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. until further notice, the ministry says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Firefighters battle blaze near Ashkelon caused by rocket fired from Gaza

Military and civilian firefighters are working to extinguish a blaze south of the city of Ashkelon, which was caused by one of the rockets fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, the Fire and Rescue Authority says.

A blaze south of Ashkelon started by a rocket fired by Gaza terror groups, May 5, 2019. (Fire and Rescue Authority)

The fire broke out last night and firefighting teams began working to put it out then, but they were eventually forced to stop as the location made it difficult to bring in the necessary equipment to extinguish it.

“The work of the firefighters was stopped last night due to the risk they faced in this open area. Today they began working to put out the fire again, with heavier equipment,” the fire department’s southern district says in a statement.

— Judah Ari Gross

Palestinian media says IDF targeted blacksmith workshop in Gaza

The Israeli military conducts an airstrike against a blacksmith workshop in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, according to Palestinian media reports.

The IDF does not immediately confirm this specific attack, but says generally that its strikes against “terror targets,” in response to ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, are continuing.

Citing safety, authorities ask public not to attend rocket victim’s funeral en masse

Science Minister Ofir Akunis will attend the funeral for Moshe Agadi, who was killed in a rocket attack that struck outside his home in Ashkelon, on behalf of the government.

As the military instructs residents of the area to avoid gatherings of more than 300 people, the Ashkelon municipality has asked the public not to attend the funeral en masse.

The funeral is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the city’s Givat Tzion cemetery.

— Judah Ari Gross

Erdan calls on cabinet to renew targeting of senior Hamas, PIJ commanders

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan calls on the security cabinet to increase the scope of its strikes on Gaza and target top military commanders of the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups.

Speaking at a police event in Jerusalem ahead of Independence Day, Erdan says that even if fires from traditional barbecues on Israel’s anniversary mix with fire from Gaza, “we shall fulfill the will of the fallen.”

Mortar fired from Gaza lands outside Israeli kindergarten, causing no damage

A mortar shell that was fired from the Gaza Strip around an hour ago landed just outside a kindergarten, causing neither damage nor injury, a spokesperson for the Sha’ar Hanegev region says.

By order of the military, the school was closed today in light of the ongoing fighting between Israel and terror groups in the Strip.

The mortar shell triggered sirens in the Alumim and Nahal Oz communities northeast of Gaza shortly after 11 a.m.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF says it targeted Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza munitions warehouse

The Israeli military says it targeted a group of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist operatives in southern Gaza.

“An IDF aircraft attacked members of the PIJ terror group who were in a munitions warehouse in the southern Strip,” the army says in a statement.

There are no immediate reports of Palestinian injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Fresh rocket alarms sound in Israeli communities; no injuries reported

A rocket alert siren sounds in the community of Nir Oz, approximately an hour after the previous barrage, when a mortar shell launched from the Gaza Strip exploded outside an empty kindergarten in the Sha’ar Hanegev region of southern Israel.

There are no immediate reports of injuries in the fresh rocket attack.

— Judah Ari Gross

Palestinian terror groups launch large barrage of rockets at southern Israel

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fire a large barrage of rockets at southern Israel, triggering a fresh round of sirens throughout the area.

Sirens are heard in the industrial zone south of the city of Ashkelon, the town of Sderot and in the Sha’ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Eshkol regions of southern Israel.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

The military says it is looking into the matter.

— Judah Ari Gross

Czech Republic, Romania, Albania, Belgium condemn Gaza rocket fire on Israel

The spokesperson for Czech President Milos Zeman posts a photo of himself wearing an IDF hat and tweets: “Israel faces a vile and insidious massive terrorist missile attack. We fight with you, friends! We are thinking about you!”

Romania, Belgium and Albania also condemn the launching of some 450 rockets by Palestinian terror groups at Israeli cities since yesterday.

“Attacks against the civilian population are unacceptable,” the Romanian Foreign Ministry says in a tweet.

The Albanian Embassy in Israel calls it “an unacceptable and unjustifiable act.”

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders also expresses support for efforts by the UN and Egypt to achieve a ceasefire and for renewed peace negotiations, saying that it would require two states and “ending the violence, lifting the blockade, return of the PA to Gaza and a negotiated settlement.”

After the Swedish envoy to Israel last night condemned the rocket fire, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom did not repeat that remark in a statement posted on Twitter.

Netanyahu declares ‘special status’ in areas around Gaza for first time since 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declares the area around the Gaza Strip to have a “special status,” a legal designation that gives the government additional powers in order to protect the lives of civilians.

“As I am convinced that there is a reasonably high chance that an attack against the civilian population will take place, I am declaring this special status for the Gaza periphery at a radius of 0 to 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu writes in the official declaration.

This designation will last for 48 hours unless renewed.

Under Israel’s 1951 Civil Defense Law, this special classification gives local and national government the ability to override normal laws in the case of an emergency, including forcing people to work to ensure critical services like water and electricity are delivered to residents. The military is also granted the ability to give orders to the civilian population in order to keep them out of harm’s way.

Israel last used this provision of the 1951 Civil Defense Law during the 2014 Gaza war.

— Judah Ari Gross

Another round of rocket alarms sound in Israeli communities

A fresh round of rocket sirens sound in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev regions of southern Israel, the army says.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket said to land next to home in Hof Ashkelon area; no injuries reported

One of the rockets fired in the previous barrage from the Gaza Strip reportedly lands in the yard of a home in the Hof Ashkelon region, south of the city of Ashkelon.

No injuries are reported.

— Judah Ari Gross

Barrage of rockets fired at Ashkelon; Iron Dome intercepts some

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fire a large barrage toward the city of Ashkelon and the surrounding area, triggering multiple rounds of rocket sirens.

In response to the ongoing attacks, the Israeli military is conducting airstrikes against targets throughout the Strip connected to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups.

Iron Dome air defense systems are activated above the city of Ashkelon, with several interceptor missiles fired at incoming projectiles.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket sirens blare in Beersheba, Rehovot, Ashkelon, Arad

Rocket sirens sound in the cities of Beersheba, Asheklon, Yavne, Arad and Rehovot and in the surrounding communities as terror groups in the Gaza Strip continue firing large fusillades at southern Israel.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket from Gaza directly hits factory in Ashkelon, injuring several

A factory in the city of Ashkelon is reportedly directly hit by an incoming projectile, injuring three or four people inside, two of them seriously.

Emergency responders are en route to the site.

— Judah Ari Gross

Man critically injured, two moderately in rocket attack on Ashkelon factory

One man is critically injured following a direct hit on a factory in the city of Ashkelon, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service and media reports.

Two more people are said to be moderately hurt in the attack.

— with Judah Ari Gross

Rocket lands in residential neighborhood of Beersheba

A rocket fired by terror groups in Gaza lands inside a residential neighborhood of Beersheba, the largest city in southern Israel.

Reports say nobody has been injured.

PLO official: Israel targeting ‘defenseless civilians’ for political gains

Senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official Hanan Ashrawi says Israel is conducting retaliatory strikes on terror-related targets in the Gaza Strip “for political gains.”

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assault campaign is a cynical attempt to inflict pain on and terrorize the captive Palestinians of Gaza for political gains during his coalition negotiations. Targeting defenseless civilians is criminal and morally reprehensible and must be condemned unequivocally,” she claims in a statement posted on a PLO website.

— Raphael Ahren

MDA says 1 critically injured, 1 seriously and 1 moderately in Ashkelon rocket

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says one person was critically injured, one seriously and a third moderately in the direct hit on an Ashkelon factory.

A 40-year-old man and a 22-year-old man sustained shrapnel wounds throughout their bodies. The 22-year-old, who is unconscious, is in critical condition. A 50-year-old man is also moderately hurt by shrapnel, with injuries to his lower body and legs, MDA says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Fresh rocket alarms sound in Israeli communities as IDF continues to strike Gaza

A fresh round of incoming rocket sirens sound in the community of Kerem Shalom east of the southern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military says one of its attack helicopters targeted a “terrorist operative” in the northern Gaza Strip.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket said to damage hospital in Ashkelon

Reports say a rocket fired by Palestinian terror groups in Gaza landed near the city’s Barzilai hospital, with shrapnel hitting part of its oncological building wing.

There are no reports of injuries.

Hamas ministry says 2 killed in Israeli strike on Gaza

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says two people are killed in an Israeli artillery strike east of Gaza City.

— Judah Ari Gross

Man critically injured in Kibbutz Erez as rocket from Gaza hits vehicle

An Israeli man is critically injured in a direct hit on his car in the community of Kibbutz Erez, east of the northern Gaza Strip, the United Hatzalah emergency service says.

IDF says it has struck 40 Gaza targets in response to latest rocket salvo

The Israeli military says it has targeted some 40 additional sites throughout the Gaza Strip in response to ongoing rocket and mortar attacks from the coastal enclave.

In a statement, the IDF says the targets include tunnels and underground bunkers, military bases, weapons factories and rocket launching sites.

In addition, the military targeted a number of weapons caches that it says were hidden inside the homes of Hamas operatives “deliberately near civilian populations.”

“The IDF strikes continue,” the army says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Man taken to hospital in critical condition after rocket hits his vehicle

A man sustains shrapnel wounds throughout his body when a rocket explodes next to his car near the community of Kibbutz Erez, near Gaza, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

The victim, approximately 60 years old, in critical condition, is taken to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center for treatment.

— Judah Ari Gross

More rocket alarms blare in Gaza-adjacent communities

Fresh rocket sirens sound in the southern Israeli communities of Holit, Sufa and Nir Itzhak.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket alarms triggered in Sderot

Sirens sound in the town of Sderot and the surrounding communities northeast of the Gaza Strip.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF investigating if car in Kibbutz Erez was hit by anti-tank missile, not rocket

The Israeli military is investigating if the car that was struck north of the Gaza Strip, critically wounding the driver, was hit by an anti-tank guided missile and not by a rocket as initially believed.

The car that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip near the Israeli Gaza border on May 5, 2019. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)

An army spokesperson says the IDF cannot yet say definitively what was fired at the vehicle, but is looking into the matter.

Medics say the driver, a man in his 60s, sustained a serious shrapnel wound to the leg and lost a lot of blood.

“We gave him life-saving treatment, put him in an intensive care ambulance and along the way were forced to give him CPR as we took him to the hospital in critical condition,” one of the medics says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Trains halted between Beersheba and Kiryat Gat after rocket hits tracks

The train between Beersheba and Kiryat Gat is temporarily halted after a rocket hit the tracks near Beersheba and damaged infrastructure, Israel Railways says.

Video shows rocket from Gaza landing next to group of soldiers

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip strikes the ground next to a bus carrying soldiers in southern Israel.

In a video, filmed by one of the troops, Iron Dome interceptor missiles can be seen flying overhead when suddenly a loud blast is heard as a rocket slams into the earth next to the highway on which the soldiers were traveling.

No injuries are reported.

— Judah Ari Gross

Fresh rocket sirens heard in southern Israel

Rocket sirens are heard in the communities of Kibbutz Kissufim, Nirim and Ein Hashlosha, across from southern Gaza, as terror groups in the Strip continue launching rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel.

— Judah Ari Gross

Two Israelis injured in rocket strikes die in hospital

Two Israeli men who were critically injured in separate attacks from the Gaza Strip have been pronounced dead in Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center.

Two men had been critically injured when a rocket fired from Gaza directly hit the factory in which they were working in Ashkelon. Another man at the site was moderately wounded.

In addition, a 60-year-old man was critically wounded as he was driving his car near the Gaza border. The IDF says it is looking into what hit his car, a rocket or an anti-tank guided missile. He sustained a serious shrapnel wound to the leg, causing significant blood loss, medics say.

It isn’t immediately clear which two of the three critically wounded men mentioned above have been pronounced dead. The third is undergoing surgery and his life is in danger.

— with Judah Ari Gross

IDF accuses journalists of ‘amplifying Hamas lies’ on Palestinian family’s death

The Israel Defense Forces official Twitter account accuses media outlets around the world of “amplifying Hamas lies” on the death early this morning of a pregnant woman, her niece and her unborn baby in Gaza.

While Hamas authorities have claimed they were killed by an Israeli airstrike — a claim that has been featured unchallenged in some reports in international media — Israel has said the deaths were the result of a malfunctioned rocket fired by terror groups that fell short of its target.

Palestinian media says 2 fatalities in Israeli strike are Islamic Jihad members

Palestinian media says the two men killed earlier in an Israeli airstrike are members of the Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military wing.

Two lightly wounded as mortar directly hits home in Eshkol region

A mortar launched by terror groups from the Gaza Strip directly hits a home in one of the communities of the Eshkol region, the Eshkol Regional Council says.

Two people were lightly injured in the incident, it adds.

Hamas claims responsibility for anti-tank missile attack that hit car

Hamas claims responsibility for an anti-tank missile attack on a car near Kibbutz Erez.

Earlier, reports said it was a rocket launched from Gaza that directly hit the vehicle. The IDF has said it is investigating the nature of the attack.

It isn’t yet clear whether the driver of the car is one of the two Israelis who have succumbed to critical wounds suffered in the attack and a rocket that landed inside a factory in Ashkelon.

Israeli airstrike kills Hamas field commander — Palestinian media

Palestinian media reports that Israeli aircraft target a car in Gaza City, killing one person and injuring at least three others.

The reports say that one of those killed was a Hamas field commander.

This appears to be a return to Israel’s once common practice of directly targeting terrorist leaders.

— with Judah Ari Gross

Commander with ties to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said killed in Israeli strike

One of those killed in the strike is identified by Palestinian media as Hamed Hamdan al-Khodari, who is said to be a Hamas field commander connected to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

— Judah Ari Gross

Bennett to skip security cabinet meeting, will visit Gaza border instead

Lame duck Education Minister Naftali Bennett is not attending the security cabinet meeting currently taking place in Tel Aviv, choosing instead to visit residence in the Gaza border region affected by the sharp escalation in rocket attacks from the Strip.

The meeting, the first of the high-level forum responsible for authorizing military operations since the latest round of violence began on Friday, started at 3 p.m. after being postponed from 12.30 earlier in the afternoon.

While Bennett’s visit to Israel’s south appears to have been a last minute undertaking, (it’s not featured on his public schedule) it’s unclear if the New Right leader, whose party failed to enter the Knesset in last month’s election, had initially intended to attend the meeting.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett at a press conference in Tel Aviv, February 7, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

A spokesperson for Bennett, a long-time critic of both the weak role given to the security cabinet and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Gaza policy, would not comment what the minister intends to say during a series of press interviews he will give while on the Gaza border.

New Right No.2 Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who was also voted out of the Knesset along with Bennett, will attend the meeting being held at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Both Bennett and Shaked will remain ministers in the transitional government until the new government is sworn in once a coalition has been formed.

— Raoul Wootliff

Israel says latest Gaza strike killed Hamas’s chief Iran liaison

The IDF confirms conducting a targeted killing of a Hamas field commander, saying he was responsible for receiving money for the group from Israel’s enemy, Iran.

The Hamas commander is identified as Hamed Hamdan al-Khodari.

According to the IDF, al-Khodari owned a number of money exchanges in the Gaza Strip and used them to bring in large amounts of cash into the coastal enclave for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terror groups.

Palestinian emergency personnel try to put out the fire on a car belonging to Hamas field commander Hamad al-Khodari, in Gaza City, after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike on May 5, 2019. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

“Al-Khodari’s financial activities… significantly contributed to advancing terrorist activities and militarily strengthening terror groups in the Gaza Strip,” the army says.

The IDF says the assassination of al-Khodari is meant to thwart Iran’s efforts to support terror attacks from the Gaza Strip.

The Gazan health ministry confirmed al-Khodari’s death and Hamas’s armed wing later claimed him as one of its commanders.

— Judah Ari Gross

Thai worker injured by shrapnel from Gaza rocket

A 30-year-old farm worker from Thailand sustained moderate injures when a rocket exploded in the field where he was working, adjacent to the border with the Gaza Strip.

According to reports, the man working in the Eshkol Regional Council was taken to a nearby hospital by military helicopter with moderate to serious injuries.

IDF says fresh airstrikes targeting terror cell in northern Gaza

The Israeli military says one of its aircraft bombed a number of terrorist operatives in the northern Gaza Strip a short time ago.

Earlier, the Security Cabinet instructed the IDF to intensify strikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Palestinian enclave in response to the hundreds of rockets that were fired at Israel since yesterday.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon area

Rocket alert sirens sound in the city of Ashkelon and communities south of it as terror groups in the Strip launch a fresh barrage of rockets toward Israel.

There are no immediate reports of injuries in the attack.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF says airstrike in southern Gaza targeting terrorist positions

The IDF says one of its aircraft fired at a terrorist operative in the southern Gaza Strip.

There are no immediate Palestinian reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Incoming rocket sirens blare in southern Israeli communities

A fresh round of rocket sirens sound in the communities of Sa’ad, Kfar Azza and Mefalsim as a barrage is fired toward southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Air Force says 600 projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza in 24 hours

Since Saturday morning, more than 600 projectiles were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli Air Force officer says.

The officer says that 200 of the projectiles were launched at civilian areas, according to Hebrew-language news sites.

Smoke trails seen as rockets are launched from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip toward Israel on May 4, 2019. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Of the projectiles fired at Israeli cities or towns, the officer said the Iron Dome defense system intercepted 86 percent of them.

Defense officials said worried Gaza flare-up will spread to Tel Aviv, north

Israel’s defense establishment is reportedly concerned the flare-up with armed terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip will spread to the northern border.

According to Channel 12 news, defense officials are concerned that Lebanon’s Hezbollah might join the fighting by launching an attack.

The officials are quoted as saying that Hamas is likely to expand its rocket attacks to the central Tel Aviv area if the conflict continues.

Netanya opening public bomb shelters amid fears of worsening Gaza violence

The city of Netanya, a coastal city around 30 minutes north of Tel Aviv, opens its public bomb shelters as a precaution for residents amid the wave of rocket fire into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The decision is made by the municipality, not the the IDF’s Home Front Command.

Earlier, Channel 12 news said Israeli defense officials were worried the latest round of fighting with armed terrorist groups in Gaza, would spread to the north of the country.

IDF deploying 2nd tank unit to Gaza border

The Golan Infantry Brigade is being sent to the Gaza border as reinforcement, in addition to the 7th Armored Brigade, which was sent to the area earlier in the day, the army says.

— Judah Ari Gross

13 Israelis injured in barrage of rockets, mortars fired from Gaza — medics

As of Sunday afternoon, 13 people in Israel were hit by rockets, missiles and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

Three men were killed in these strikes; two were seriously injured, two were moderately hurt, and six were lightly wounded.

Magen David Adom paramedics treat a factory worker injured in a rocket strike in Ashkelon on May 5, 2019. (courtesy Magen David Adom)

Twelve people were also lightly injured running to bomb shelters.

In addition, 66 people received medical treatment after suffering anxiety attacks from the attacks.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF confirms Israeli driver killed by anti-tank guided missile

The Israel Defense Forces confirms that the 60-year-old man killed in a strike on his car north of the Gaza Strip was hit by an anti-tank guided missile fired from the coastal enclave.

Earlier, the Hamas terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the IDF said at the time it was still investigating the source of the blast.

An Israeli soldier walks past a car hit by a missile fired from the Gaza Strip border with Israel, May 5, 2019. (Ariel Schalit/AP)

Following the attack, the roads closest to the Gaza border were closed to traffic out of concerns of additional anti-tank missile attacks.

— Judah Ari Gross

Air Force targeting Hamas’s internal security establishment in Gaza City

The Israeli Air Force says its attack helicopters have begun bombing a building used by Hamas’s internal security service in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City.

— Judah Ari Gross

2 members of Gaza rocket-launching squad said killed in Israeli strike

Palestinian media reports that two members of a rocket-launching squad were killed in an Israeli strike east of the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.

— Judah Ari Gross

Islamic Jihad threatens to escalate Gaza violence to all-out war

The spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad says the armed terror group in the Gaza Strip is poised to escalate deadly violence against Israel to an all-out war.

“The resistance is on the verge of a new level in facing aggression; a level that could lead to open war,” Mosab Al Braim tells the Hamas-linked al-Risala daily. “It will hurt the enemy like our people are hurting.”

UN envoy calls on Palestinians to halt Gaza rocket fire

The UN envoy to the Middle East is calling for a cessation of rocket fire by Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza after over 600 projectiles were launched at Israel in the past day.

Nickolay Mladenov tweets that “enough Palestinian and Israeli lives have been lost, people injured, houses damaged and destroyed,” and calls for a “return to the understandings of the past few months before it is too late.”

Israeli retaliatory airstrikes have killed at least nine Palestinians and wounded over 110, while Palestinian rocket and mortar fire has killed three Israelis and wounded over 100.

The UN, Egypt, and Qatar have been working in recent months to broker a lasting cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip.

— with AP

IDF admits failure in identifying dangers on Gaza-adjacent road after driver killed by missile

The Israeli military says it failed to recognize the risks posed to Israeli drivers on a road north of the Gaza Strip, where a man was killed today when a Kornet anti-tank guided missile fired from the enclave struck his car.

Earlier in the day, the IDF ordered sections of the Route 232 highway in southern Israel closed in light of the threat of sniper and missile attacks from Gaza, but not the area where the deadly attack took place.

“The specific road where the civilian’s vehicle was hit was not closed due to the distance [from Gaza]. At the time, we didn’t see that threat,” IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus says.

Israelis gather near a car that was hit by an anti-tank guided missile fired from the northern Gaza Strip, which killed the driver, near Yad Mordachai in southern Israel, on May 5, 2019. (Jack GUEZ / AFP)

The spokesman says the military is investigating the matter and that it is “very much an ongoing event.”

Conricus says once the IDF completes its probe of the deadly missile attack, it will release the findings to the family of the victim and the public.

IDF jeep hit by anti-tank missile fired from Gaza — Palestinian media

Palestinian media reports that terrorist groups in the Strip fired an anti-tank guided missile at an Israeli military jeep east of the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.

The Israeli military does not immediately confirm the strike.

— Judah Ari Gross

Pompeo says Israel has ‘every right’ to defend itself

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Israelis have “every right to defend themselves” after terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip continued to intensify a wave of rocket attacks into southern Israel.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo calls the violence “pretty serious.”

“These rockets were fired with civilians around them to protect from return fire,” he says. “This is terrible.”

“I hope we can return to the cease-fire that had been in place for weeks,” Pompeo adds.

— with AP

Head of far-right slate: Any Gaza ceasefire must include return of IDF soldiers

Union of Right-Wing Parties chair Rafi Peretz says that any ceasefire agreement with Hamas must include the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Shaul Oren.

Peretz tells Army Radio that he would agree to a ceasefire agreement to end hostilities between Israel and the Gaza-based terrorist group following two days of rocket barrage toward the south of Israel, “only under very specific conditions that would have to include the return of our boys.” Goldin and Oren were killed during the 2014 Gaza War.

Rafi Peretz, head of the Union of Right Wing Parties, at a political event in Petah Tikva, Feb 20, 2019. (Yehuda Haim/Flash90)

Peretz says that such a ceasefire agreement “would have to be wider than just this round of fighting and make sure that Israeli interests are met,” while coming after “it was made very clear that Israel will not accept any attacks on our citizens.”

Peretz, a former Air Force pilot and chief rabbi of the army says he does not believe the army needed to launch a ground operation into Gaza to stop the rocket fire and could instead “finish the job via the air and return the deterrence to what it should be.”

— Raoul Wootliff

Israel says Hamas reached out via Egypt to ask for truce — reports

Defense officials say that Hamas has expressed interest in a ceasefire with Israel amid a deadly escalation in the Gaza Strip.

According to reports in Hebrew-language media, Hamas sent the message to Israel via the Egyptian mediators who are trying to negotiate a truce between the two sides.

Egyptian and UN officials are reportedly holding talks with Israelis and Palestinians to calm the situation.

Incoming rocket sirens again blare in southern Israeli communities

A fresh round of rocket sirens sound in the communities of Nahal Oz and Sdot Negev as a barrage is fired toward southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

Kfar Saba opening public shelters

The central Israeli city of Kfar Saba is opening its public bomb shelters for residents as a precaution amid the wave of rocket fire into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The decision is made by the municipality, not the the IDF’s Home Front Command. Kfar Saba is about 20 minutes north east of Tel Aviv.

The decision comes hours after the northern city of Netanya opened its city shelters.

Earlier today, Channel 12 news said Israeli defense officials were worried the latest round of fighting with armed terrorist groups in Gaza, would spread to the north of the country.

IDF says airstrikes target another terror cell in southern Gaza

The Israeli military says one of its aircraft attacked another group of terrorist operatives in the southern Gaza Strip.

— Judah Ari Gross

Islamic Jihad says 2 operatives killed in Israeli strike

The Hamas-run health ministry and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization say that an Israeli strike earlier this afternoon killed two PIJ operatives.

A ministry spokesman tells AFP Mohammed abu Armanah, 30, and Mahmoud abu Armanah, 27, were killed in an Israeli strike in central Gaza, without giving further details.

Islamic Jihad confirms the men were members of its armed wing.

— with AFP

More incoming rocket sirens heard in Sderot

Fresh rocket sirens sound in the town of Sderot and surrounding communities, as terror groups in the Strip continue to fire rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel.

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF says it thwarted Hamas cyber attack amid rocket barrage

The Israeli military says its soldiers thwarted a cyber attack by the Hamas terror group, without elaborating on the nature or target of the attack.

The commander of the IDF’s Cyber Division, who can only be identified by his rank and first Hebrew letter of his name, Brig. Gen. “Dalet,” would only say that the cyber attack occurred in the past day and was aimed at “harming the way of life of Israeli citizens.”

The military says much of the information about the attempted attack cannot be published as it would reveal to Hamas details about Israel’s cyber capabilities.

In addition to Israeli technology soldiers thwarting the cyber attack, the Israeli Air Force also bombed the headquarters of Hamas’s cyber unit.

According to the officer, the attempt by Hamas was not a particularly advanced one. “We were a step ahead of them the whole time,” he says.

However, Dalet says this was one of the first times where Israeli soldiers had to fend off a cyber attack while also fighting a physical battle.

“What’s special here is that we thwarted this threat under fire,” Dalet tells reporters.

The general says Hamas likely knows by now that its effort failed.

“I believe that they know they didn’t succeed in doing what they intended to do,” Dalet says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Incoming rocket sirens blare in Ashdod, Ashkelon and Yavneh

Incoming rocket sirens sound in the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Yavneh as Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip continue to fire rockets and mortar shells across the border.

Gaza rocket hits Sderot home, no injuries reported

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip directly hits a home in the southern city of Sderot.

According to Channel 13, the rocket failed to explode upon impact.

No injuries are reported.

Ashdod man seriously hurt by rocket amid massive bombardment from Gaza

A 35-year-old man is seriously injured by shrapnel from a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at the coastal city of Ashdod, medics say.

The man is taken to the city’s Assuta hospital for treatment.

https://twitter.com/newsisrael13/status/1125079240372891648

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF releases footage of strike that killed alleged Hamas moneyman

The Israeli military releases drone footage of its strike that killed Hamed Hamdan al-Khodari, who it says was a terrorist operative who funneled money to terror groups in the Gaza Strip from Iran.

In the video, al-Khodari’s car can be seen driving down a street in Gaza City before it is hit by a missile from above and erupts into a cloud of smoke and flame.

— Judah Ari Gross

Security cabinet instructs IDF to continue Gaza strikes, prepare for escalation

At the conclusion of the security cabinet’s session, the Prime Minister’s Office issues a brief statement saying that the army has been instructed to continue striking targets in the Gaza Strip.

“The [security] cabinet instructed the IDF to continue the strikes and the prepare for a continuation. The main consideration is the security of the state and its citizens,” the statement says.

— Raphael Ahren

No injuries as Gaza rocket hits soccer stadium in Kiryat Malakhi

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hits a soccer stadium in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malakhi, near Ashkelon.

The stadium was empty when the rocket hit, and no injuries are immediately reported.

Gaza rocket lands in front yard of ex-Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip last night landed in the front yard of Likud MK and former head of the Shin Bet security service Avi Dichter.

Shrapnel damaged parts of Dichter’s home, but he and his family were in their fortified room and were not injured, according to news reports.

Ashdod man killed by Gaza rocket, bringing Israeli death toll to 4

The Israeli man, who was critically injured when a rocket fired from Gaza hit his Ashdod home, succumbs to his injuries, the police spokesman says.

According to Channel 12 news, the man was running from his apartment to his building’s bomb shelter when the rocket came crashing through the stairwell.

A car bursts into flames after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod on May 5, 2019. (Flash90)

He is the fourth Israeli killed since the start of the massive bombardment of rockets and mortars fired into Israel by Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.

3 Gazans, including pregnant woman, said killed in Israeli airstrike

Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry says three Palestinians, including a pregnant woman, have been killed in an Israeli airstrike.

The ministry says that Amani al-Madhoun, 33, was killed along with two men, one of them a relative. It says she was nine months pregnant.

The airstrike occurred in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya. Further details were not immediately available.

— with AP

Irish FM condemns indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza, urges Israeli restraint

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney issues a sharp condemnation of the onslaught of rockets and mortars being fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.

“I unequivocally condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza over the last two days, which has led to civilian deaths and injuries,” he says in a statement.

A picture taken on May 5, 2019 from the Israel-Gaza border shows a barrage of rockets being fired from the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave. (Jack GUEZ / AFP)

“These actions undermine the cause of the Palestinian people. The unjust treatment of Gaza and the suffering of people there will never be solved by violence or terrorist attacks,” Coveney says.

“I call for an end to indiscriminate attacks on civilians and for restraint in terms of the Israeli response, which has already led to several deaths in Gaza.”

— Raphael Ahren

Israel to stop Gaza fuel imports after rocket onslaught

Israel will not allow diesel fuel and gasoline to enter the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing tomorrow as terror groups in the coastal enclave continue to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel, the military liaison to the Palestinians says.

“Following security deliberations held today [Sunday], the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun has announced that all fuel imports into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Humanitarian Crossing will cease,” his office says in a statement.

Despite the closure of Kerem Shalom, Israel had allowed diesel fuel and gasoline into the beleaguered coastal enclave on Sunday.

— Judah Ari Gross

Army cancels classes for all schools within 40 km of Gaza Strip

As terror groups continued to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel, the IDF announced it was keeping in place a number of security measures for the Israeli cities and towns within approximately 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip for the following day.

All schools in the area are canceled for Monday. Workplaces in the region will only allowed open if they have access to a bomb shelter. Gatherings of more than 300 people are not allowed, including in shopping centers, the army says.

There are no special safety instructions for the rest of the country.

— Judah Ari Gross

Fresh volley of Gaza rockets triggers rocket sirens across south

After a brief lull, terrorist in the Strip fire a large volley of rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel, triggering sirens in the city of Ashkelon and communities immediately surrounding Gaza.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Ashdod man killed by rocket fire identified as Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman

The Israeli man who was killed earlier this evening when a rocket hit the southern city of Ashdod has been identified as Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman.

He is said to have been his early twenties. Prezuazman was the fourth Israeli civilian killed on Sunday by Palestinian rocket and anti-tank missile strikes.

Energy minister suspends offshore gas supply due to Gaza flare-up

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz orders a halt in supplies from the Tamar offshore natural gas field due to the deadly escalation between Israel and terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.

A statement from the Energy Ministry says Steinitz has declared a temporary state of emergency to ensure there is no interruption in Israel’s power supply.

Israeli driver killed by Gaza anti-tank missile identified as Moshe Feder, 67

The Israeli man who was killed earlier today when an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip hit his car has been identified as 67-year-old Moshe Feder.

According to reports, Feder was the partner of Iris Eden, who lost her husband Yashish Eden in the 1997 Helicopter disaster.

2 IDF soldiers reportedly injured in mortar attack near Gaza border

Two soldiers are reportedly injured in a mortar attack from the Gaza Strip near the border with the Palestinian enclave.

The Israeli military does not immediately comment on the strike or the soldiers’ conditions.

— Judah Ari Gross

UN chief urges ‘maximum restraint’ in Gaza flare-up

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appeals for “maximum restraint” amid a violent flare-up between Israel and terrorist groups in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip that is showing no signs of stopping.

“He condemns in the strongest terms the launching of rockets from Gaza into Israel, particularly the targeting of civilian population centers,” a UN statement says.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press conference after his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, on June 21, 2018. (AFP Photo/Yuri Kadobnov)

“He urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint, immediately de-escalate and return to the understandings of the past few months,” it says.

Guterres’s special envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov is “working closely with Egypt and all concerned to restore calm,” the statement says.

IDF denies Gaza terror groups hit army jeep with anti-tank missile

The Israeli military denies claims in Palestinian media that one of its jeeps was hit in a Kornet anti-tank guided missile attack earlier in the day.

— Judah Ari Gross

More rocket sirens in triggered in communities south of Ashkelon

A fresh barrage of rockets is fired at southern Israel, triggering sirens south of Ashkelon and in the communities of Zikim, Karmia, Nirim, Ein Hashlosha and Kissufim.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

— Judah Ari Gross

Hamas chief says restoring calm in Gaza ‘possible’

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says that restoring calm in and around the Gaza Strip is possible if Israel agrees to stop all retaliatory strikes in the Palestinian enclave.

“Returning the calm is possible, and maintaining it depends entirely on the occupation’s commitment to a complete ceasefire,” Haniyeh is quoted as saying in Palestinian news reports.

He says any ceasefire must extend to the participants in March of Return protests along the Israel-Gaza border.

Gaza officials say death toll from IDF strikes climbs to 22

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says two more Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes.

The ministry says the boy was killed in an airstrike targeting an apartment building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya.

Another Palestinian man succumbed to wounds he sustained in an airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip earlier in the day, it says.

Palestinians carry an injured boy outside a hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza strip on May 5, 2019. (ANAS BABA / AFP)

According to Gaza officials, the recent fatalities raise the Palestinian death toll since Saturday to 22, including three women and two infants. At least eight of the dead were fighters in the Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

Israel is carrying out numerous retaliatory strikes against terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip after 600 rockets were fired at southern Israel in the past day. Four Israeli civilians have been killed by rocket fire and dozens more have been wounded.

IDF says 40 ‘terror targets’ bombed in latest round of Gaza strikes

The Israeli military says it bombed some 40 “terror targets” in the Gaza Strip in its latest round of airstrikes in response to ongoing rocket attacks from the coastal enclave, bringing the IDF’s total number of raids up to 320 in the past two days.

The military says it targeted “observation headquarters, underground bunkers, weapons caches, military facilities, launchpads, observation posts and more” in its most recent air raids.

Smoke billows from a targeted neighborhood in Gaza City during an Israeli airstrike on the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave on May 5, 2019. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

The army says it targeted sites connected to both the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza, and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“IDF strikes are continuing according to plan,” the military says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Egypt, UN reportedly trying to negotiate Gaza ceasefire by midnight

Egyptian and UN mediators are working to secure a ceasefire between Israel and armed terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip that will go into effect at midnight, according to reports in Hebrew and Arabic media.

Channel 12 news quotes Western diplomats as saying both sides were nearing an agreement thanks to the “intensive efforts” by the negotiators.

Earlier, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that restoring calm in and around the Gaza Strip is possible if Israel agrees to stop all retaliatory strikes in the Palestinian enclave.

IDF says Gaza strike destroyed office of Hamas interior minister

The Israeli military says its fighter jets destroyed the office of Tawfik Abu Naim, Hamas’s interior minister, in the Nuseirat refugee camp of central Gaza.

Abu Naim was imprisoned in Israel in 1991 and was let out in a contentious 2011 prisoner exchange, in which over 1,000 convicted terrorists were freed to secure the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

The IDF says Abu Naim is also responsible for Hamas’s security forces and has “used them to carry out military terrorist activities.”

–Judah Ari Gross

Hamas reportedly agrees to Egyptian ceasefire proposal

Hamas leadership approves a UN and Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire with Israel, according to reports in Palestinian media.

Foreign diplomats are quoted in media reports as saying the proposal, that is set to go into effect at midnight, is now being presented to Israel.

Rocket alert siren triggered at Kerem Shalom

Rocket sirens are sounding in Kerem Shalom border area, as terror groups in the Gaza Strip continue to fire rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

Egyptian and UN mediators are reportedly working to negotiate a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza after a deadly escalation over the last day raised fears of an all-out war.

Rocket warnings sound in communities near Gaza

Rocket warning sirens are sounding in the Eshkol region near the Gaza Strip.

The IDF says it is investigating if there were launches toward Israel.

Rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon

Rocket warning sirens were sounding in  across the city of Ashkelon, the Ashkelon industrial zone and the Ashkelon regional council.

The IDF says it investigating if there were launches toward Israel.

The sirens come despite reports Israel and the Gaza terror groups are working toward a cease-fire brokered by Egyp and the UN.

Terror groups say no end to violence until Israel acknowledges ceasefire

Palestinian terror groups in Gaza say that they will continue to fire rockets into Israel until Israel publicly acknowledges that it has reached ceasefire understandings with them

“The battle will not end until the occupation responds affirmatively to our people’s demands,” the Joint Command Center of armed Palestinian factions in Gaza says in a statement early Monday.

“We will not allow the settlers to leave their shelters as long as the enemy’s leadership denies its understandings with the resistance, it says.

The statement comes as rocket sirens continue to wail despite reports Israel and the Gaza terror groups are working toward a cease-fire brokered by Egypt and the UN.

Adam Rasgon

 

Ashdod rocket victim Pinchas Prezuazman laid to rest in Jerusalem

Hundreds of people are gathering in Jerusalem tonight to bury Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, who was killed earlier in the day after being struck by rocket shrapnel while running for cover in the coastal city of Ashdod.

Prezuazman, 21, was a dual American and Israeli citizen, according to Consul General of Israel in New York Dani Dayan.

“I don’t understand why this is happening, but I am sure that you have fulfilled your purpose on this earth,” his father says as he is laid to rest.

Iron Dome intercepts rockets over Ashkelon

The Iron Dome  rocket interceptor system intercepts several rockets that are fired toward the Ashkelon region early this morning.

The IDF says it continues to check if any of the rockets fell inside Israel.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or casualties from the rocket fire that comes despite reported talks to reach a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza terror groups

Mike Pence says US stands by Israel and its right to defend itself

US Vice President Mike Pence tweets his support for Israel in the face of the rocket barrage from Gaza.

“We strongly condemn the attacks in Gaza by Hamas terrorists. Israel has the absolute right to defend itself & the U.S. stands by our great ally Israel,” Pence tweets.

Rocket alert sirens go off in Eshkol region

Rocket warning sirens are going off in Kissufim in the Eshkol region near the southern Gaza Strip.

The IDf is investigating if projectiles were launched into Israel.

Trump tells Gazans rockets will bring nothing but ‘more misery’

US President Donald Trump reiterates that the US supports Israel 100% and warns Gazans that the rockets will only bring them more misery.

“Once again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its citizens,” Trump tweets.

“To the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace – it can happen!”

 

US deploys aircraft carrier to Gulf ‘clear and unmistakable message’ to Iran

The US is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Gulf in response to Iranian provocations, National Security adviser John Bolton announces.

The deployment is meant “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force,” Bolton says in a statement.

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack,” Bolton warns.

Arab media reports ceasefire reached, to go into effect at 04:30

Arabic media, citing Palestinian sources are reporting that Israel and the Gaza terror groups have reached a ceasefire agreement that will go into effect at 04:30 AM.

There was no official confirmation, but the report comes after two hours where no rockets were fired into Israel.

Schools in southern Israel to remain closed Monday

Despite reports of a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza terror groups, Israeli authorities decide to keep schools in southern Israel closed today.

All educational institutions within a 40 kilometer (25 mile) radius of Gaza will remain shut.

Palestinian sources say a truce has been reached and gone into effect from 04:30. Israel has no comment.

Islamic Jihad official says truce based on Israel easing Gaza conditions

An Islamic Jihad official says the truce agreement is based on Israel easing its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Among the steps, he says, are the easing of limits on fishing and improvements in Gaza’s electricity and fuel situation.

Israel has not commented on reports of a truce.

AFP

Palestinians say truce reached with Israel to end deadly Gaza flareup

Palestinian leaders in Gaza say they have agreed to a ceasefire with Israel to end a deadly two-day escalation in violence that threatened to widen into war, according to officials with knowledge of the deal.

The IDF declines to comment on the deal, but there appears to have been no rocket fire or Israeli strikes after it was due to take effect.

Smoke billows from a targeted neighborhood in Gaza City during an Israeli airstrike on the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave on May 5, 2019. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

An official from the strip’s Islamist rulers, the Hamas terror group, and another from its allied group Islamic Jihad say Egypt brokered the agreement to cease hostilities from 4:30 a.m.

An Egyptian official also confirms the deal on condition of anonymity.

The deal comes after the most serious flareup in violence between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza since the 2014 war.

— with AFP

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Trump tells Gazans rockets will bring nothing but ‘more misery’

US President Donald Trump reiterates that the US supports Israel 100% and warns Gazans that the rockets will only bring them more misery.

“Once again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its citizens,” Trump tweets.

“To the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace – it can happen!”