Late last night an unofficial ceasefire was reached between the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Israel was left in tatters as the Islamic Jihad fired five rockets into Southern Israel this morning, striking a building in Netivot and causing 26 people to have to be treated for shock. The Israeli Air Force retaliated with a strike to take out a weapons facility.
Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday morning that there was little hope that the Islamic-Jihad declared cease-fire would really hold and that he expected the rocket fire to resume shortly. It was during Ya’alon’s interview with Israeli Army Radio that the rocket hit Netivot.
The Iron Dome Missile Defense System intercepted a rocket bound for the Israeli city of Ashkelon, a major population center, while air raid sirens could be heard in the background.
Sunday more than 100 rockets were fired into Southern Israel by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and assorted other terror groups. Israel responded to the attacks by hitting weapons facilities and launching sites through out the Gaza Strip. After midnight, Islamic Jihad declared a ceasefire and stopped firing rockets but that ended this morning. Egypt took credit for brokering the ceasefire.
Three Israeli civilians were injured in yesterday’s racket barrage.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack had harsh words for the Gaza Strip’s Hamas government:
“If we are forced to go back into Gaza in order to deal Hamas a [serious] blow and restore security for all of Israel’s citizens, then we will not hesitate to do so. It is Hamas that will pay the price; a price that will be painful.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also suggested that the Israeli Defense Forces would act to protect Israeli civilians, saying:
“We are prepared to intensify our response. The world needs to understand that Israel will not sit idly by in the face of attempts to attack us.”
The Prime Minister was set to meet with Barack Obama and IDF Cheif of Staff General Benny Ganz today to discuss an IDF response to the rockets.