The Israeli air force struck over 30 targets in Gaza in response to two rocket barrages fired toward southern Israeli communities Tuesday. The first barrage consisted of 28 mortars, with one shell falling in the yard of a kindergarten. Hours later, several projectiles were launched from Gaza and parts of a rocket fell near a school in Sderot.
Most of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and no injuries were reported. Prior to Israel’s retaliation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that the military would respond "with great force" and said Hamas is responsible for preventing such an attack.
Over the past few days, Israel has been bracing for a response from Islamic Jihad after the Israeli military killed three of its militants and a Hamas member in strikes on the coastal enclave.
4.50 P.M. Israel to hold security briefing
Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
Please enter a valid email address
Thank you for signing up.
We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting.
Oops. Something went wrong.
Please try again later.
The email address you have provided is already registered.
Netanyahu to hold security briefing with Defense chief Avigdor Lieberman, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman and senior security officials in Jerusalem (Noa Landau)
4.31 P.M. Israeli man wounded by mortar fire from Gaza
An Israeli man sustained light injuries after he was hit by shrapnel from mortar fire launched from Gaza in Sderot, in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel.
4:30 P.M. France declares that it is ‘unconditionally committed to Israel’s security’ and condemns firing of mortar shells into populated areas of Israel
In response to the firing of mortar shells into populated areas of Israel on Tuesday, the French embassy in Tel Aviv released a statement from the French Foreign Ministry saying: "France roundly condemns the firing at a civilian population, which fortunately has not claimed victims. France is unconditionally committed to Israel’s security. France condemns the renewed violence, which is inconsistent with a peaceable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A renewal of a credible diplomatic process requires all of the sides to forgo the use of violence."
4:15 P.M. Defense Minister LIeberman says Israel has no intention to let the situation pass
– Israeli defense system shoots down Gaza mortar fire
The two kilometers long tunnel extending into Egyptian territory – דלג
3:48 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in southern Israeli communities
3:27 P.M. Israel strikes Gaza 30 times; target includes ‘terror tunnel’
The IDF said it launched 30 missiles on seven targets in the Gaza Strip, including what it described as a "terror tunnel" reaching 900 meters into Israeli territory. Some of the rockets fired from Gaza toward Israel are Iranian-made, the IDF said. The military called this the worst incident since the Israel-Gaza war of 2014.
According to the IDF, the tunnel was discovered 10 days ago and is two kilometers long. It originates in the Gaza Strip, extends into Egyptian territory for a kilometer and then winds back into Israeli territory for 900 meters. The army added that the tunnel was used both for smuggling and terror activities. (Yaniv Kubovich)
– Iron Dome
VIDEO The Iron Dome areal defense system intercepts rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards Sderot. pic.twitter.com/yn8DHny4Py
— Michael Shuval (@MichaelShuval) May 29, 2018
3:14 P.M. Israel intercepts rockets as second barrage launched from Gaza
The IDF intercepted several rockets from Gaza, the second such barrage launched toward Israel in hours. Parts of a rocket fell in the yard of a school in Sderot, the community’s city hall said. No casualties were reported. (Yaniv Kubovich, Almog Ben-Zikri)
2:53 P.M. Rocket sirens blare again across Israeli south; Iron Dome triggered
Numerous rocket sirens sounded in the southern Israeli communities of Sderot, Hof Ashkelon, Shaar Hanegev and Eshkol. The IDF activated Iron Dome missile defense systems. (Yaniv Kubovich)
1:36 P.M. Israel strikes Islamic Jihad target in Gaza City, report says
The Israeli military carried out strikes on an Islamic Jihad facility in Gaza and attacked targets in Khan Younis, Dir al-Balah and Al-Nasirat. (Jack Khoury)
12:52 P.M. Israel Air Force strikes Gaza
The Israeli air force struck targets in Gaza in retaliation for the rocket barrage. The IDF said it is carrying out an operation in the Strip and that explosions could be heard in the vicinity. (Yaniv Kubovich)
Netanyahu tweet about ’57 missiles’Twitter
12:39 P.M. Hamas says Israel striking central Gaza
According to reports in Khan Yunis, Israeli warplanes fired at least 10 missiles on Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza. (Jack Khoury)
12:27 P.M. Egypt in talks with Israel, Hamas, Islamic Jihad to avoid Gaza conflict
A Palestinian official in Gaza told Haaretz that Egypt is in touch with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Israel in an effort to head off a deterioration of the situation into a wider conflict. The talks with Islamic Jihad are being conducted at a high level and include the group’s leadership abroad, the source said. According to assessments in Gaza, if Israel’s response does not result in fatalities in Gaza, all of the parties to the conflict will act with restraint. (Jack Khoury)
12:20 P.M. Netanyahu tweets, deletes that ’57 missiles’ fired toward Israel
"Let the world know: Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip continue to attack Israel. Share the truth!," Netanyahu tweeted, despite the fact that 28 mortar shells – not 57 missiles – were fired from Gaza. Less than an hour later, the prime minister deleted the tweet. (Haaretz)
11:50 A.M. Netanyahu vows ‘forceful’ response to Gaza barrage
"The Israeli army will respond with great force to these attacks. Israel will exact a heavy price from anyone who tries to harm it and we view Hamas as having responsibility to prevent these attacks against us," Netanyahu said at a conference in the Galilee.
Netanyahu also discussed Iran’s presence on Syria’s border with Israel. "We are not making do with an Iranian withdrawal from just southern Syria," Netanyahu said. "The Iranian missiles have a range that endangers us even if they are in other areas. Iran needs to leave all of Syria. We have not agreed to less than that." (Noa Shpigel, Noa Landau)
10:52 A.M. Lieberman, senior defense officials hold security meeting
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and other senior defense officials met at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv Tuesday for an urgently convened meeting to consider the latest developments on the Gaza border. (Yaniv Kubovich)