Rocket fire has been ramping up overnight in Israel as Israel masses troops on the border of Gaza. Early on July 8th Israel time, Debkafike reported that rockets from Hamas were fired and intercepted over Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Givatayim, Raanana, Caesaria and Yavne, as well as southern Israeli cities. A house was hit in North Jerusalem but so far no injuries were reported. Hamas also made several attempts to smuggle naval commando units into Israel, from the sea near Ashkelon and were discovered by IDF coast guard. More terrorists tried to sneak into Israel through a tunnel and were discovered when a tunnel exploded under an Israeli military post. IDF forces backed by tanks blasted the area in case more hidden tunnels were being used to secretly bring terrorists to Israeli residential areas. A wide-ranging search continues in the Ashkelon coastal area in case Hamas terrorists made it through to land and all local roads are blocked.
During the day, the first Hamas rocket over Tel Aviv was blown up in mid-air by an Iron Dome battery after rockets hit southern and central Israel.
On Tuesday, public shelters were opened in Tel Aviv, the beaches along the Mediterranean coast and Sdei Dov airport was closed. Flights going in and out of Ben Gurion international and Eilat airports were disrupted by Israeli Air Force fighting against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Operation Solid Rock and 40,000 reservists were called up as more than 100 rockets were fired by Hamas by mid-afternoon and Israel mobilized the forces along the border for a possible ground invasion. In earlier raids carried out by Israeli forces five leading Hamas operatives were killed and also three passengers when their car was hit from the air. Thirty Palestinians were injured when an air raid bombed the home of a Hamas control center.
The intense rocket fire from Gaza is now in its fourth week and areas near Gaza Israelis have had to constantly run for shelters during attacks. Israel launched its military operation Solid Rock against Hamas Monday night, July 7, after the Palestinians fired over 100 rockets from Gaza to expanded targets as far as Rehovot, 50 km away and Iron Dome batteries are still in place.
Operation Solid Rock means that Israel will escalate now that Hamas has sent rockets to Tel Aviv. In a nationally televised statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said continued rocket attacks on Israeli communities would not be tolerated.
“Therefore I have ordered the military to significantly broaden its operation against Hamas terrorists and against the other terrorist groups inside Gaza… I call on you to display patience because this operation could take time.”