Between October 22-24, 2012, the Hamas terrorist organization initiated another intensification of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. During this period, 77 rockets and mortar shells were launched, 68 of which fell in Israeli territory. Furthermore, the Iron Dome battery intercepted 7 rockets that were on a trajectory to hit Israeli cities. Four civilians in Israel were injured by the rocket fire, two severely and two lightly.
On October 24, several houses suffered direct hits. Schools were closed in three regional councils in the area and citizens were instructed to remain in bomb shelters. Crossings from Israel to the Gaza Strip were closed due to the ongoing danger.
IDF Spokesman Yoav Mordechai said that Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from Gaza.
This rocket barrage occurs in conjunction with other attacks against IDF forces by Hamas, including the detonation of an explosive device targeting an IDF patrol, severely injuring an IDF officer.
In order to deter further rocket fire, IDF artillery and aircraft targeted Hamas and other terrorist infrastructure in six locations in the Gaza Strip, including a rocket launching site and a tunnel used for smuggling by terror organizations. Five Hamas operatives and two members of other terrorist organizations were killed, and nine others were wounded.
Farm workers at a chicken pen were critically injured
All photos: IDF Spokesperson
PM Netanyahu: "We neither chose nor initiated this escalation, but if it continues we are prepared for much more extensive and deeper action. In any case, we will continue with preventative operations. Whoever intends to attack Israeli citizens needs to know that he will bear the consequences."
President Peres: "Right now there are a million people, mothers and children, are sitting in shelters and being bombed. Nobody in Europe, Asia, America or anywhere else would agree to that day after day. We are behaving with a great deal of patience, we don't want to see anyone being killed in Gaza, but no-one in the world could agree to the current situation. I want to tell the residents of Gaza and their leaders, they have to decide what they want - to build or to shoot."
FM Liberman: "The situation in southern Israel, which is being bombarded with rockets from Gaza, is intolerable. No European state would allow such a reality in its territory as the residents of southern Israel are forced to suffer."
PM Netanyahu (Oct 23): "These terror attacks, which threaten all of us, continue unabated. Today we engaged in exchanges against terrorist aggression that comes from our southern border in Gaza, but it actually comes from Iran and a whole terror network that is supporting these attacks."
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Recent notable rocket attacks from Gaza
8 October 2012: Gaza-based terrorist groups launched a barrage of mortar shells and rockets towards Israeli population centers in southern Israel. The shelling lasted until 10 October. In total, 42 mortar shells and rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip and hit Israeli territory. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Ansar al-Quds groups claimed responsibility for the attacks. Most of the shells landed in the Eshkol Regional Council. Two rockets landed in the city of Sderot and two in the town of Netivot.
27 August 2012: Three rockets were fired from Gaza causing Israeli students to seek shelter in bomb shelters on their first day back to school following the summer recess. In response, IAF forces initiated two pinpoint strikes on 28 August 2012 targeting Hamas ammunition warehouses in the northern Gaza Strip.