Israel: over ‘1,637 rockets’ launched from Gaza in 11 days

Israeli soldiers stand around their armoured personnel carriers (APCs) across from the northern Gaza Strip, as flares from Israel light the sky, July 18, 2014. (Reuters)

Israel announced that at least 1,637 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip since it began its Operation Protective Edge” began 11 days ago, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Friday.

“More than 1,637 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel, 1,228 of the rockets hit Israeli home front and an additional 340 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system,” the IDF said in a statement.

The overall Palestinian death toll since Israel began raiding Gaza on July 8 has reached 296, medics said on Friday, according to AFP.

Only one Israeli soldier died and 7 IDF soldiers were injured in the offense aimed at destroying Hamas’s network of cross-border tunnels, the Israeli army said.

‘Friendly fire’

Staff Sergeant Eitan Barak died by “friendly fire,” the Israeli television said.

During its offense, Israel uncovered 10 tunnels with 22 exit points across the Gaza Strip, the IDF said.

“Today IDF soldiers discovered 10 of these tunnels and over 20 points of access and it is merely the first day of the ground phase of the operation,” IDF Spokesman Peter Lerner was quoted in the statement as saying.

Israel has recruited approximately 53,200 reserve soldiers since the operation began, added the IDF statement.

Ground offensive

Since it began its ground phase of the operation, “more than 135 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel,” but approximately 87 only hit Israel, according to the IDF.

“One of them hit a kindergarten in Gan Yavne and another caused damage to a home in the Sha’ar HaNegev regional council,” the IDF statement stated.
An additional amount of 40 rockets were intercepted by the anti-missile system, Iron Dome.

The IDF claimed that recorded messages were sent to the residents, prior to targeting them. Bu said that Hamas terrorists were taking advantage of the warnings, and attacking the IDF from within the evacuated properties, and destroying them.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42