UPDATE: Gaza-based terrorists fired rockets at the Jerusalem area on Friday for the first time in the current round of fighting.
Several of our editors live in the towns around Jerusalem and reported air raid sirens and massive booms – either the impact of rockets in open areas, or their interception by Iron Dome batteries.
The IDF immediately launched fresh strikes on terrorist positions in Gaza.
With this new escalation, a ceasefire is seeming less and less likely in the coming hours or days.
During the night between Thursday and Friday, the Jewish people in Israel were able to sleep relatively peacefully. The terrorist groups in Gaza did not fire any rockets overnight.
The calm was broken by Israel today as the army bombed outposts and rocket launch sites. This marks the fourth day of Operation Shield and Arrow and while there is talk of a looming ceasefire, on the ground there seems to be no end in sight.
On Thursday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made an assessment of the security situation, after which they ordered the anti-terror operation to continue for as long as necessary.
“The prime minister and defense minister commended the IDF and Shin Bet for their successes during Operation Shield and Arrow and directed them to continue exacting a heavy price from Islamic Jihad for its aggression against the citizens of Israel. The campaign will continue for as long as necessary,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
Iron Dome malfunction
An IDF spokesman said Friday morning that the direct hit on a building in Rehovot, which claimed one life, was due to a technical malfunction of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. An interceptor missile was fired at the Gaza rocket, but it did not hit its target.
The blast killed an elderly Israeli man and injured five people, some of whom remain hospitalized.
Since the beginning of Operation Shield and Arrow, 215 targets in the Gaza Strip have been attacked, 260 rockets from Gaza have been intercepted, 163 unsuccessful launches of rockets have been recorded (about every fifth terrorist rocket has landed in the sea or inside the Gaza Strip). A total of 866 rockets have been fired at Israel.
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