Palestinians Fire Dozens of Rockets at Civilian Areas, May Have Used Advanced Libyan Antiaircraft Missile, Too
By Ben Hartman. Palestinian terrorists fired 50 rockets and mortars into southern Israel Wednesday morning, injuring five and sending local residents fleeing for cover. IAF strikes targeting Palestinian rocket-launching squads killed three Hamas operatives but did little to stem the flow of rockets at Israel’s south.
Of the projectiles fired by the terrorists, 22 landed in the Eshkol region while 21 landed in the Lachish region, according to the Israel Police. The Iron Dome intercepted seven rockets, according to an IDF spokesman. The barrage follows 10 rockets fired on Tuesday evening, for a total of 67.
Two of he victims, foreign workers, suffered critical injuries and were evacuated via helicopter to Soroka Medical Center. Two more victims were lightly hurt, and one was being treated for shock, according to MDA.
IDF Home Front command instructed residents living within 10 km of Gaza to remain indoors and take shelter.
Air raid sirens went off during the attacks and local residents fled for cover. Southern municipalities canceled schools amid the ongoing escalation. Police have heightened patrols around Gaza in the south, including bomb sappers to deal with the heightened threat. Read more from this story HERE.
Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Fired at Israeli Helicopter Over Gaza
By Yaakov Lappin. The IDF has refused to officially comment on reports that Palestinian terrorists fired a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile at an IAF helicopter over Gaza last week.
According to the report, which appeared in Yediot Aharonot on Tuesday, the missile – identified as the low-altitude Strela SA-7 – missed its target. It was the first known attempt to bring down an IAF craft using advanced missiles in Gaza.
“Certainly, the threat of anti-aircraft missiles is a serious worry, but it won’t disrupt the air force’s activities over Gaza,” terrorism expert Yoram Schweitzer, of the Institute for National Security Studies, told The Jerusalem Post.
Schweitzer, who has served as consultant on counterterror strategies to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defense Ministry, noted that the period of instability rocking the Middle East has allowed terrorists to smuggle strategic weapons into the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.
Israeli security officials believe some of the weapons are being smuggled in to the region from Libya. Last year, ABC News reported on White House assessments that some 20,000 heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles were unaccounted for in Libya. Read more from this story HERE.