In follow up to yesterday's terror attack in southern Israel that claimed 8 lives and wounded dozens, 10 missiles fired from Gaza have fallen on communities across a wide area of southern Israel. Among those hit were the cities of Kiryat Gat (approx. 47,000 residents), Ashdod (approx. 206,000), and Beersheva (approx. 194,000).
In Ashdod, a Grad missile (longer range than the standard Qassam missile) hit the courtyard of a yeshiva (Jewish religious school), seriously wounding one student and moderately wounding another, with four others being treated for shock. The students had interrupted their morning prayers to take shelter upon hearing the city's warning siren (which sounds with relative frequency in Ashdod, due to its proximity to Gaza). After minutes passed without a missile landing, the students unfortunately emerged from the shelter – right when the missile struck. For more on this story, click here.
Yesterday, Israeli aircraft targeted buildings in southern Gaza that contained leaders from the terror faction that executed the attack (the Popular Resistance Committtees, or PRC – a group known to be loyal to Hamas). Overnight, three Hamas compounds were also hit by the Israeli Air Force, as well as smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza – which serve as conduits for the rapid movement of weapons and terror operatives.
At least 6 terrorists were killed in yesterday's strikes on PRC targets, including the group's leader – Kamal Abu Abed al-Nairab. Among those killed were 2 operatives known to have participated in the 2006 kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. In fact, analysts believe the attacks in southern Israel yesterday might have been intended to include the abduction of an Israeli soldier.
We will continue to monitor events and keep you informed of major developments.