More than 130 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at major population centers in southern Israel in the last two days.
PM Netanyahu: "We will continue to hit whoever plans to attack citizens of the State of Israel. At the same time, we will continue to improve home front defense including by means of additional Iron Dome systems, the effectiveness of which was shown again over the weekend."
Israeli Police at scene of a rocket explosion in southern Israel (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)
PM Netanyahu to Cabinet on situation in south : "Last Friday, an arch-terrorist who organized many attacks against the State of Israel was eliminated."
- More than 130 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at major population centers in southern Israel in the last two days.
- On Friday, March 9, four people were wounded, one severely. On March 10, a mare was killed and a home near Ashdod was damaged by a direct rocket hit.
- In light of the ongoing rocket attacks, schools in many cities and towns in southern Israel are closed on Sunday, March 11.
- Areas targeted include Ashdod, Be'ersheba, Yavne, Netivot and Ashkelon, as well as the Eshkol and Shaar Hanegev regional councils.
- The Iron Dome system intercepted about 90% of the rockets fired at Be'ersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon.
- The terrorist squads are launching their rockets from densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip, including Bet Lahiya, Jabaliya, Rafah, Gaza, and El-Bureij.
- Despite the rocket barrage, the Erez Crossing into Gaza is open for passengers and employees of international organizations. Kerem Shalom is open for the delivery of 200 truckloads from Israel into Gaza.
On Friday, March 9, In a combined IDF-ISA operation, IAF aircraft targeted two members of the Popular Resistance Committee terror organization in the Gaza Strip - a senior operative, Zuhir Mussah Ahmed Kaisi, and a collaborator, Mahmud Ahmed Mahmud Hananni. The squad was responsible for planning a combined terror attack that was to take place via the Sinai Peninsula and the Israel-Egypt border in the coming days. A direct hit was confirmed. In light of situation assessments and security considerations, and following the targeting of the terror squad involved in the planning of a combined terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border, route 12 has been closed for traffic.
Zuhir Kaisi, born in 1963, from Gaza City, was the head of the Popular Resistance Committee terror organization and was also its political commander. Kaisi was among the leaders who planned, funded, and directed the combined terror attack that took place on Route 12 in August 2011, in which 40 people were wounded. Kaisi was also involved in rocket fire at Israel, as well as in the attack on the Nahal Oz fuel terminal in April 2008, in which two Israeli citizens were killed. In addition, Kaisi was in charge of transferring funds from Hizbullah to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip.
Following the strike, terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip launched a rocket and mortar barrage directly targeting Israeli civilians. The barrage is currently ongoing.
On Friday night, IAF aircraft targeted two weapon manufactoring facilities and two rocker launching sites in the nothern Gaza Strip, a weapon manufactoring sites in the central Gaza Strip and a terror activity sites in the southern Gaza Strip. The targeting was in direct response to the rockets fired at Israeli southern communities. In addition IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist in the central Gaza Strip and six addtional terrorist squads who were in the final stages of preparing to fire rockets at Israel from separate locations in the nothern and central Gaza Stirp.
On March 10, in response of the ongoing rocket fire at Israel, IAF aircraft targeted two terror activity sites in the northern and southern Gaza Strip, and a weapon storage facility in the northern Gaza Strip. On Sunday morning (March 11), IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist at a rocket launching site in the northern Gaza Strip from which two rockets were fired at the city of Ashdod a short time beforehand, and later targeted a terrorist, moments before he was to fire a Grad rocket at the city of Ashdod.