Over 20 rockets fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip slammed into Israel early Monday morning, reports Israeli news site Ynet. The rocket attacks follow increasingly violent days in Israel’s south which have seen a rocket destroy an Israeli factory and Israel Defense Forces retaliatory attacks which killed at least one.
The latest rocket attacks marked more than two weeks of increasing rocket fire from Gaza since the beginning of Israel’s Operation Brother’s Keeper in the West Bank, the operation to find and bring back to safety the three Israeli teens believed kidnapped by Hamas.
Over a dozen rockets were fired at Israel over a siren-filled Sunday night and early Monday morning. At roughly 7 am a 10 rocket barrage was fired, with all of the rockets exploding in open areas, causing neither damage nor injuries. At least three more rockets were fired later in the morning, causing light property damage.
In addition to the massive West Bank search operation for the kidnapped teens, which has included a crackdown on West Bank Hamas operatives, recent days have seen an escalation in the situation in the south, where Israel borders Gaza.
One terrorist was reported dead and several were wounded along the Israeli border with Gaza Sunday evening after the Israeli Air Force (IAF) launched a targeted attack against a Gaza rocket launching cell. The IDF also confirmed that terrorists in Gaza opened fire on soldiers patrolling the border fence. Israeli forces returned fire at suspected enemy positions.
The military clashes marked Israel’s retaliation to two rockets that were fired from Gaza into Israel Sunday evening, both of which were shot down over the Israeli town of Netivot by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Two mortar shells also fell in Israeli territory.
One rocket struck the Israeli town of Sderot on Saturday, setting fire to a factory that burned to the ground.
Meanwhile, Armored Corps brigades were instructed to prepare for the possibility of being transferred to the Gaza Division as security officials considered all options in response to rocket fire.
Israel has been responding aggressively to recent rocket attacks, including an targeted killing in Gaza on Friday which killed two senior members of the Popular Resistance Committees, responsible for recent rocket attacks.
More than 200 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since the beginning of 2014.