Israel continues bombing Gaza amid rockets firing

The Israeli military continued on Saturday its military operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), bombing dozens of targets belonging to the militant group in the Gaza Strip, while hundreds of rockets were launched from the Palestinian enclave toward Israel.

Earlier in the day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said at least 160 rockets have been fired toward Israel since Friday afternoon. A total of 130 crossed into Israel, most of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and the rest fell in open areas and the sea, while 30 fell short in Gaza.

Most of the rockets fired on Saturday targeted southern Israeli towns, and sirens were reportedly blaring in the cities near the border with Gaza, including Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Yavne.

A rocket hit a home in the southern city of Sderot, the closest Israeli city to the blockaded Gaza, causing no injuries, the municipality said.

At around noon, rockets were fired at the central Israeli city of Modiin, only 30 km west of Jerusalem.

The central Israeli city of Tel Aviv has not been targeted, but sirens have sounded in its suburbs of Holon and Bat Yam. On Friday, the Tel Aviv municipality opened the city’s bomb shelters.

The Israeli army continued to carry out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip throughout Friday night and on Saturday, targeting a rocket manufacturing site, mortar shell manufacturing workshops and rocket launchers, all allegedly belonging to the PIJ.

The heightened tension came after Israeli forces arrested a senior official of the PIJ in the West Bank city of Jenin on Monday. The PIJ vowed to take revenge, prompting the Israeli military to raise its alert along the border with Gaza.

At least 15 people, including a 5-year-old girl, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since Friday afternoon, according to the Palestinian health ministry.