Netanyahu Promises ‘Massive Strikes’ in Response to Gaza Terror Rockets

Israeli air defense system Iron Dome takes out rockets fired from Gaza near Sderot, Israel, Saturday, May 4, 2019. Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired at least 90 rockets into southern Israel on Saturday, according to the Israeli military, triggering retaliatory airstrikes and tank fire against militant targets in …
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he will authorise further “massive strikes” on Gaza Strip terrorists after rocket fire from the territory crashed into southern Israel overnight and into the morning.

“I instructed the (military) this morning to continue its massive strikes on terror elements in the Gaza Strip and ordered (it) to reinforce the troops around the Gaza Strip with tanks, artillery and infantry forces,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

Israel said 430 rockets or mortars had been fired from the Palestinian enclave run by Hamas since Saturday, and it responded with waves of air and tank strikes.

The Israeli military says its Iron Dome defense system brought down more than 150 of the projectiles from Gaza, but several still managed to slip through. A rocket scored a direct hit on a residential home in the border town of Sderot.

Gazan authorities reported six Palestinians killed in the Israeli strikes, including at least two militants, however Israel disputed their account of the deaths of a pregnant mother and her baby, blaming errant Hamas fire.

One 58-year-old Israeli man was killed overnight by a rocket strike on the city of Ashkelon near the Gaza border, Israeli police and the hospital said.

Israel marks Memorial Day and Independence Day this week, when masses head out to ceremonies at military cemeteries and then street parties across the country. The following week it is set to host the Eurovision song contest in which thousands of inbound tourists are expected to arrive for the show.

Islamic Jihad has threatened to fire longer range rockets toward Israel’s heartland ahead of all those events.

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