A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip struck a home in the southern town of Sderot Saturday, the second day of cross-border fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
No one was injured in the attack, as the family was sheltering in the home’s reinforced room at the time of impact. Images showed damage to the interior of the house and a hole in the roof where the rocket struck.
“We heard a siren and I, my wife and the kids quickly ran to the reinforced room. After 6-7 seconds we heard a loud boom and the rocket hit,” the husband, Baruch, told Channel 13.
His wife added that she was horrified upon seeing the damage when exiting the safe room.
“My kitchen, everything there was gone,” she added.
Her husband, who said their children were eight and five years old and were suffering from anxiety after the ordeal, described the damage to their home as “very significant.”
“But thank God nothing happened [to us],” he said.
Sderot, which is several kilometers from the Gaza border, has been targeted by multiple barrages of rockets fired from Gaza since Friday afternoon.
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The rocket strike on the Sderot home came hours after three Israelis were lightly injured in an Israeli town in the nearby Eshkol Regional Council. The wounded included a man in his 30s hit by shrapnel after a rocket landed near a cowshed, and two soldier sappers who the military said were lightly hurt in a second attack when they arrived in the area to clear ordinance.
The Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon said it had treated 20 people so far amid the rocket attacks on southern Israel, including 15 people who were lightly hurt after falling over while running to bomb shelters, and a further five people for anxiety.
The IDF estimated it had killed at least 10 Islamic Jihad terror operatives in its airstrikes on Gaza so far, but also said that two or three uninvolved Palestinians had been killed.
The Hamas-run health ministry said that at least 11 people had been killed, including a five-year-old girl, and 80 others wounded.
The military launched Operation Breaking Dawn with airstrikes in Gaza on Friday afternoon in response to what officials said was an ongoing “concrete” threat by PIJ to target Israeli civilians and soldiers near the border.
Islamic Jihad then began to fire heavy barrages of rockets at Israeli communities in southern and central Israel, with the rocket fire continuing into Saturday afternoon.
Israeli leaders said the airstrikes were necessary after the group refused to back down from its intentions to carry out attacks on the Gaza border.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke with leaders of southern communities on Saturday afternoon, updating them on the operation and emphasizing the need for residents to adhere to the instructions of the IDF Home Front Command.
Community heads offered their full support for the operation and noted that the prime minister had residents’ backing.
Islamic Jihad had been threatening since Tuesday to attack — to reinforce its demand that Israel release its West Bank commander, Bassem Saadi, who was arrested in an IDF raid in Jenin on Monday — causing days of road closures and community lockdowns in areas near the Gaza border under immediate threat.
In a briefing to reporters Saturday morning, military spokesperson Ran Kochav said the IDF had struck some 40 Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, including six weapon manufacturing workshops, two weapons storage sites, six observation posts and five rocket-launching positions.
Later on Saturday, the IDF said it had struck several more PIJ sites, as well as a terror cell en route to launch mortars at towns in southern Israel.
The IDF said there were currently “no negotiations underway” to bring an end to the violence.