IDF Shoots Down Another Drone As Hamas Rocket Fire Escalates
Tel Aviv, Israel-- The Israel Defense Forces shot down their second Hamas-supplied drone in less than a week as it was flying over the skies of Ashkelon in southern Israel. According to Israel’s Channel 2 News, a Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) shot down the UAV.
Israel’s security cabinet is set to meet at 11:00 a.m. local time Friday to discuss further steps for Operation Protective Edge.
Israel’s Iron Dome showcased impressive multitasking ability as it shot down a barrage of twelve rockets on the towns of Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Rehovot Thursday evening.
Tel Aviv came under fire from two separate rocket attacks Thursday. The first coming in the morning and the second occurring around 6 p.m. local time.
Three Gazan kids were reportedly killed while they were on a roof during an IAF air strike in Gaza City’s Sabra district. An additional Gazan child was killed in a separate airstrike, according to Haaretz.
From 3-8 p.m. after the humanitarian truce (that Hamas had earlier broken, but Israel upheld) expired, Hamas militants fired roughly 100 rockets into Israel. The IDF has responded by targeting 30 or so Hamas terror sites in the Gaza Strip, including weapons production facilities and underground tunnels.
US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that Secretary of State John Kerry urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “redouble efforts” to prevent civilian casualties. “We believe there is more that can be done” to protect civilians, Psaki said.
Some Israeli officials reportedly believe US Secretary of State John Kerry may have undermined the latest round of ceasefire negotiations, according to Israel’s Channel 2. Kerry publicly spoke about Hamas preferring Turkey or Qatar to Egypt as a mediator. An Israeli source told the news channel that Kerry revealing the once-private information could have been devastating to ongoing negotiations.
Hamas has executed four Palestinians for “collaborating” with Israel, according to the Palestinian paper Al-Quds Thursday. The paper said that another 13 Gazans have been arrested by Hamas authorities on suspicion of collaboration with Israel.