Israeli Air Force Strikes Gaza After 16 Rockets Fired Into Israel’s South

The Israeli air force struck Gaza late Friday night after 16 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. Ten of the rockes were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the military said. Media outlets in Gaza reported that Israel struck targets in the area of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip in retaliation. 

– Video showing apparent Iron Dome interceptions above the skies of Sderot on October 26, 2018.

כיפת ברזל הופעלה בשדרות. קרדיט צילום: שדרות און-ליין.

— almog ben-zikri (@almogbenzikri) 26 באוקטובר 2018

Video showing apparent Iron Dome interceptions above the skies of Sderot on October 26, 2018.

Five different alarm sirens were activated throughout the night in Israel’s southern communities including the city of Sderot near the Gaza border. Seven people have been treated for shock trauma in Sderot according to a Magen David Adom spokesperson. A 53-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy were lightly injured after running for protection when sirens sounded.

Some residents reported hearing explosions, with some saying they witnessed interceptions by the Iron Dome missile defense system. No damage or serious injuries have been reported. 

>>Why Netanyahu really isn’t eager for a Gaza war | Analysis ■ The problems of Israeli children vs. the problems of Gazan children | Opinion ■ Pushing for war on Hamas, Israeli defense chief fails to rally security cabinet | Analysis 

The sirens came hours after Palestinian authorities reported that five Palestinians had been killed by Israeli military fire – four in the weekly protests on the Israel-Gaza border and one in clashes in the West Bank.

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Late on Wednesday night, the Israeli military struck eight Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket fired from Gaza landed in an unpopulated area in Israel.

Last week a rocket launched from Gaza hit a house in the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva, damaging it heavily. Another rocket landed in the sea near one of the major cities in Israel’s largest metropolitan area.

In response the Israeli military said it struck 20 targets in Gaza, including a Hamas attack tunnel in the southern Strip. The assault "significantly damaged Hamas’ capabilities," IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis added. 

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot cut short his visit in the United States following the escalation on the southern border. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the closure of the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings into Gaza and a reduction in the permitted fishing zone off the coast of the enclave.