[EARLIER UPDATES BELOW]
22:25: Soroka hospital in Beer Sheba moving preemies and baby departments to bomb shelter, following barrage of rockets fired from Gaza.
22:06: At least 4 rockets just landed in Sderot and Shaar Hanegev. Rockets landed in open areas.
21:46: IDF spokesperson says the earlier CODE RED sirens near Jerusalem were accurate. IRON DOME intercepted a rocket headed to Beit Shemesh.
21:14: The IAF is targeting terrorists in Gaza at this time. The aerial assaults are reported to be heavy. Sirens are sounding in Ashkelon and the Eshkol Regional Council.
21:09: MDA Chief Eli Bin moves the EMS service to highest level in the center of the country as well in light of rocket fire.
20:56: The Iron Dome intercepted 12 rockets over Netivot and Ashdod.
20:54: It is Israel’s move as Hamas claims responsibility for rocket launches.
20:53: Ichud Hatzalah reports one person was injured by shrapnel and seven other sustained injuries running for cover.
20:47: A rocket landed near the Gan Yavne Beis Hachaim. False alarm in Mevasseret Tzion.
20:42: Sirens sounding in Rehovot.
20:41: One person injured by shrapnel in the Ashdod area. There have been some 30 rocket launches since 20:00 resulting in over 100 rockets reaching the border of the 40km (24 mile) range. At least one rocket reportedly landed near Beit Shemesh. Sirens also sounded in Kiryat Malachi, Gan Yavne and Gadera.
20:36: Five rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome over Netivot.
20:34: Three rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome of Ashdod.
20:33: At least 100 rockets fired in the last wave towards the W. Negev and many other areas including Beit Shemesh, Be’er Tuvia, Gadera, Netivot, the Lachish district, and Ashkelon. A number of fires have broken out as a result of the rockets hitting open areas.
20:30 IL: It is being reported that there is no rocket fire from Gaza into major cities in Israel and that sirens heard in Yerushalayim and the surrounding areas including Beit Shemesh and Rehovot are false alarms.
The rocket fire and sirens in southern Israel is not a false alarm as residents of many cities and municipalities are being bombarded.
13:18: Three rockets blew up in the Eshkol Regional Council district.
14:40: Sirens sounding in the Shar HaNegev Council.
15:22: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol and Shar HaNegev Regional Councils.
15:41: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council. Rockets exploded earlier in an open field.
16:12: Sirens sounding again in the Eshkol Regional Council. Rockets impacted in an open area earlier.
17:35: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council.
A senior IDF official tells Ynet the military is preparing for an escalation in warfare.
18:24: The IAF targets a tunnel, killing a number of Hamas terrorists.
18:59: Sirens sounding in Sderot and the Eshkol Regional Council.
19:46: Sirens sounding in the Shar HaNegev Regional Council. Four rockets landed in an open area.
19:59: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council.
20:03: Sirens sounding in Netivot.
Within 40km (24 miles) of the Gaza Border
· Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheva have been instructed to open public bomb shelters.
· No gathering may be held of over 500 people.
· All camps and summer programs held in non fortified buildings have been canceled.
· Residents must remain in running distance to shelters, 15 seconds.
Of the 1,500 reservists called to service, most are attached to logistical units, the Iron Dome and Homefront Command.
Following the Security Cabinet meeting today, the decision was made to increase the severity of IAF attacks over Gaza with each attack until such time Hamas decides to stop the rocket fire.
Mayors in southern communities are calling on the IDF Homefront Command to increase operational status but the IDF insists on remaining on regular daily routine status despite the increased rocket fire.
20:07: The IAF is targeting east of Rafiach. About 30 rockets have struck Western Negev communities in last waves of rocket fire.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)