Rockets continue to fall on Israel as tensions rise

Yaakov Lapin — Haaretz July 4, 2014

House damaged by rocket fire in Sderot, sothern Israel, July 3, 2014. Click to enlarge

House damaged by rocket fire in Sderot, sothern Israel, July 3, 2014. Click to enlarge

Rockets fired from Gaza continued to fall on Israel early Friday morning as Iron Dome batteries intercepted one rocket over Israel’s south while two landed in open fields near Sderot.

The first rockets hit Israel on Friday following a Code Red siren around 5:00 AM.

No injuries or damages were reported in the latest rocket attacks after rocket-fire on Thursday damaged vehicles and homes in Sderot , including a building used as a daycare center. The infants and their caretaker were in a fortified shelter-room at the time of the attack and escaped injury.

That strike came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had warned earlier on Thursday evening that if quiet in the region was not restored, the beefed-up IDF units amassed there will act “with power.”

Over 40 rockets and mortar shells have landed in southern Israel since early Thursday, including two direct hits on residential buildings in Sderot.

Rocket-fire and Israeli reprisals have continued throughout the week, bringing calls from some within Israel to carry out a large-scale operation in Gaza.  On Thursday demonstrators gathered on the edge of Sderot and called for strong military action against Gaza.

Hamas warned Israel against launching such an offensive on Thursday, saying that Israel’s previous conflicts with the group would be “a picnic” compared to what would follow should the IDF begin a large operation in Gaza.

The IDF has initiated a limited deployment of forces toward the Gazan border in light of the increased rocket attacks.

Yaakov Lappin and Tovah Lazeroff contributed to this report.

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