By David Isaac, World Israel News
The IDF struck the Gaza Strip following a rocket barrage targeting Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and areas in southern Israel on Monday. According to Gaza reports, nine were killed. Israel says it killed three Hamas terrorists in an aerial attack.
The IDF released footage of the retaliatory strike. It also said Hamas will pay a heavy price for its unprovoked Monday attack.
Hamas fired seven rockets at Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, a city located 30 kilometers west of Jerusalem. One rocket hit a settlement near the capital but no one was injured. An anti-tank missile was also fired at a civilian vehicle along the Gaza Strip. The driver escaped with light injuries.
Air raid sirens continue to sound in Israel’s south as of 8:30 p.m. Israelis have on average 15 seconds to get to shelter once sirens sound.
Hamas used as pretext for the attack Israeli actions in Jerusalem. Israeli police are working to restore calm after Palestinians rioted on the Temple Mount and in other parts of Jerusalem.
At 4:45 p.m. Hamas had issued Israel an ultimatum to remove all its forces from the Temple Mount. It launched its rocket attack at around 6:00 p.m.
A senior Hamas official told Kan News: “We are not looking for war but are willing to pay any price for Jerusalem and Al Aqsa.”
Joining Hamas is the smaller terror group, Islamic Jihad, which announced at 6:30 p.m. that it fired 30 rockets at Jewish communities in the south.
Israel has tightened security restrictions up to 40 kilometers from the Gaza Strip and is preparing for possible missile strikes in the center of the country. Schools in the south will be canceled tomorrow. Flight paths to and from Ben Gurion Airport were altered.
However, Jerusalem Day celebrations continued after a brief stoppage.