Israel intercepts rockets fired at Tel Aviv as Gaza air strikes continue
Five Palestinian rockets fired by Hamas were intercepted over Tel Aviv on Thursday morning as Operation Protective Edge entered its third day.
Rocket sirens in Tel Aviv which were activated around 8 a.m. on Thursday were immediately followed by a series of audible explosions, most likely the Iron Dome interception system which picked off the rockets as they were heading toward the area.
Remains of one of the rockets landed near a gas station in the Greater Tel Aviv area.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian news site is reporting on Thursday that eight Palestinians were killed in an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.
According to Palinfo, the eight Palestinians, including four women and two children, were killed when an IAF jet struck a home in the Khan Yunis refugee camp.
Six of the dead were from the same family, Palinfo is reporting.
A health ministry spokesperson in Gaza told the site that 30 people were injured in the attack, which came without any warning.
An Israeli airstrike killed four members of the Gaza Strip's main security apparatus, the Ma'an news agency is reporting on Thursday.
Three Islamic Jihad operatives were killed in an IAF strike in Gaza. The IDF Spokesperson said that the three men were involved in the firing of rockets at Israel.
The Israel Air Force has struck 320 targets in Gaza over the past 24 hours, and 750 targets since the operation that began Monday night to extinguish Hamas rocket on Israel.
In overnight air strikes, 58 Hamas tunnels, 220 underground rocket launchers, and 46 command and control facilities - many located in the homes of senior Hamas commanders - have been destroyed, a senior military source said Thursday morning.
Some 80 command and control centers have been bombed since the start of the operation, the source added, and 513 underground rocket launchers have been destroyed.
Around 800 tons of explosives have been fired by air force jets on targets this week, the source said. The IAF's current rate of fire is double that of Operation Pillar of Defense, launched in 2012 to stop Hamas rocket fire from Gaza. "We'll see this trend increasing, as part of our firepower policy," he said.
The increase in firepower comes as the IDF continues to amass Ground Forces on the border with Gaza. The source said Hamas is waking up on Thursday to "a lot of damage in Gaza. Its facilities are destroyed, as are the homes of its battalion and deputy battalion commanders that were used as command and control centers in every way. Hamas was running the operations of their units out of these homes. Some had weapons storage caches in them."
The IDF is continuing the pressure on Hamas, he said, and the Gazan regime is frustrated by the fact that military power it has built up over years is systematically being destroyed. Iron Dome's high effectiveness in stopping rocket fire on the Israeli home front is also frustrating Hamas, he said.
- Gaza worshipers banned from entering Jerusalem following rocket fire
- Palestinian behind Tel Aviv stabbing motivated by Operation Protective Edge
- Hamas gives advance notice of imminent attack on Tel Aviv
- Deputy to Hamas leader enters Gaza as two rockets land in Israel
- Israel strikes Gaza, arrests 21 Palestinians following Tel Aviv attack