The United Nations urged both sides to de-escalate the situation in Southern Israel as the Israel/Hamas conflict enters its second day. Hamas terrorists continued to fire rockets into Southern Israel this morning with a direct hit on a house in Kiryat Malachi, killing three and critically injuring two including a newborn. Israel continued to strike at terror targets in the Gaza Strip striking over 100 times throughout the night.
More than 130 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip over the last 24 hours after Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense to root out the terror infrastructure in the small coastal area. The Military began the operation with the assassination of Ahmed Jabari, the chief of Hamas’s military wing.
In addition to the attack on Kiryat Malachi, a house in Ashdod and a school in Ofakim were also hit by rockets. They were both empty at the time.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office stated Thursday morning that the Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted 13 rockets since midnight. The system had intercepted a further 30 rockets on Wednesday night.
Palestinian sources said that 13 people were killed in Gaza due to the Israeli Air Force strikes over the course of the evening. The IAF has been targeting rocket sites throughout the strip.
Palestinian sources said that 13 people were killed in Gaza as a result of the IAF strikes, with more than a hundred suffering injuries.
In addition to the injured, paramedics treated dozens of Israelis for shock on Wednesday night. The Israeli government has ordered anyone living within 7 kilometers of Gaza to stay in their homes in bomb shelters. Rockets were seen as far away as Dimona, which is 75 kilometers from Gaza and the home of Israel’s nuclear reactor.
In an emergency meeting of the government last night, the security cabinet authorized Defense Minister Ehud Barack to mobilize the Israeli reserves if he felt it necessary.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the telephone on Wednesday night with US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. He was also scheduled to speak with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. The UN Security Counsel met in emergency session last night to decide on the body’s response to the violence but could not agree on a plan. The US has backed Israel’s right to defend themselves.
The situation in Gaza has escalated tensions with Egypt as the Egyptian government has recalled its ambassador in light of the situation.
Here are missiles flying overhead in southern Israel.