Terrorists operating out of southern Lebanon looked to join the Hamas bombardment of the Jewish state early Friday morning by firing two Katyusha missiles at the northern Israel town of Metulla.
Military officials believe the rockets were fired by a small Palestinian group that identifies with Hamas, and that the attack does not, yet, represent a widening of the Gaza war by the Lebanese terrorist militia Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, two Israeli soldiers were wounded, one seriously, by mortar shells fired from Gaza on Thursday evening. Another three people suffered injuries, one in serious condition, when a missile from Gaza struck a gas station in the southern port city of Ashdod on Friday morning.
The first Israeli death resulting from the conflict occurred in Haifa, where an elderly woman collapsed and died while rushing to her bomb shelter as air raid sirens wailed over the city early Friday morning.
Thus far, Hamas and its terrorist allies have this week fired 350 missiles and rockets at towns and cities across Israel. Ninety of those have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.
Israel has responded with 900 targeted aerial strikes and marine bombardments of terrorist positions and installations in Gaza. The Israeli strikes have resulted in an estimated 90 dead Palestinians, some of them civilians that were purposely placed in harm’s way by Hamas.
As the rocket fire from Gaza escalates, Israel is still strongly considering a ground invasion of the coastal enclave, though America and other Western powers are feverishly working to convince Israel to avoid that scenario. Nevertheless, Israel has called upon the civilians of Gaza to move away from the area’s border fence in preparation for an incursion.
PHOTO: A gas station in Ashdod burns after suffering a direct hit by a missile fired from Gaza.