Palestinian armed factions have launched at least 507 rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip since the start of the current confrontation, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced on May 11.
The rocket attacks targeted Tel Aviv and the surrounding area in central Israel as well as the southern cities of Sderot, Ashkelon and nearby settlements.
The IDF said that at least 368 of the projectiles crossed the separation line, while 110 fell short in Gaza. The Iron Dome and David’s Sling air defense systems intercepted 154 of the rockets, marking a 95 percent interception rate of projectiles heading for populated areas, while a handful landed in urban areas, causing damage. The rest landed in open areas without causing damage.
The confrontation in Gaza broke out on May 9, when the IDF launched Operation Shield and Arrow against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The opening strikes claimed the lives of three senior commanders of the group as well as a number of women and children. The operation was launched in response to a series of rocket attacks which were launched from Gaza last week.
The so-called Joint Operations Room of various Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip, which includes both the Hamas Movement and the PIJ, responded by launching rocket attacks under an operation codenamed the Revenge of the Free.
The IDF said that it had carried out strikes against 158 positions belonging to the PIJ since the start of the confrontation in Gaza.
One of the most recent strikes on Gaza claimed the life of Ali Ghali, the commander of the PIJ’s rocket forces. Ghali was hiding in a safehouse at the time of the strike along with two fighters of the group who were also killed, the IDF claimed in a statement.
At least 25 people in Gaza have been killed since Israel launched the surprise operation against the PIJ, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza, and 76 more wounded.
The confrontation in Gaza could go on for a few more days, as both Palestinian armed factions and the IDF do not appear ready to de-escalate.
Source: South Front