Hamas Steps Up Warfare – Rocket Strikes Central Israel [UPDATED 11:00AM EST]



It is now clear that a rocket has exploded in the Rishon L’Tzion area, marking an increase in the warfare with Hamas, now shifting from the south to Central Israel.

There are reports of explosions in Cholon, Rishon L’Tzion, Be’er Yaakov and Bat Yam. It is entirely possible that a rocket impacting in one area is heard in an adjacent municipality. There are reports of victims of hysteria/panic being treated in Rishon L’Tzion, adding credibility to the reports of a rocket attack. There are conflicting messages as to the sounding of sirens in those cities.

The military is working to determine where in Gaza the rocket was fired from, perhaps to reposition Iron Dome intercept batteries. The IAF is pounding terrorist targets from the skies over Gaza.

UPDATE 11:00AM EST: The Israeli army says a rocket has reached the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv, by far the farthest strike by Gaza militants in two days of fighting.

The military said the rocket landed in Rishon Lezion, a city just south of Tel Aviv located in heavily populated central Israel.

The rocket landed in an open area and caused no damage or injuries. Nonetheless, it illustrated the growing capabilities of Gaza terrorists.

Israel’s military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, says the air operation has delivered a “strong blow” to militants’ launching sites.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)