Sirens are sounded in Tel Aviv….for real. It’s the first time since 1991 that the sirens have been heard there as Palestinian terrorists fire at least 2 rockets toward Tel Aviv metro area but land in open areas. So much is happening over the past few days, as one reaction after another plays out from both sides centered about the Gaza border and nearby areas. This all takes place about 6:45 pm Thursday. Two hours earlier a rocket landed without incident in the Rishon Lezion. The Iron Dome missile defense system was able to halt 6 rockets, one over Kiryat Malachi and 5 over Beersheba. Still in Beersheba, about 8:00 in the evening, a home is hit and damaged; in Kiryat Malachi another rocket hit, killing 3 civilians in an apartment building.
Soldiers are injured by a mortar shell in the Eshkol region, and then later an IDF vehicle was hit by a rocket near the Gaza border. While the vehicle was damaged, those soldiers were not injured.
The Iron Dome has been successful in intercepting nearly 100 rockets but approximately 140 rockets and mortars have made it onto Israeli soil. In defense, Israel has attacked terrorists in Gaza adding up to almost 230 targets.
Yet the sirens sounded Thursday night for the first time in 20 years in Tel Aviv. In too many other areas the sirens sound often as the rocket fire from Gaza continues to rain down on the residents of Israel….for real.
And now the troops are coming. With the Palestinians posturing for a defiant and lengthy stand following the death of Hams military chief, Ahmed Jabali, Israel is prepared for the possibility of a ground operation. Armed vehicles, tanks and soldiers were moving closer to the Gaza border area.
On the one camp, Hamas prime Minister in his televised speech on Thursday and in reference to the death of Jabali stated, “…we emphasize that Palestinians are prepared to stand steadfast…taking revenge for the noble blood of those who have fallen.” Mourners chanted words about killing in the name of God. They are set to carry on with more strength and determination for their cause.
Israel, on the other hand, is bound on protecting their citizens and their land. The army is ready to do what it must to defend itself from the current escalating attacks. The Iron Dome continues and they are ready to draft another 30,000 reserve troops, many who are eager to get into the action.
Citizens on both sides, both Gaza City and southern Israel, stayed indoors or huddled down for safety. In Israel they were to stay close to public bomb shelters.
The sirens keep sounding, rockets keep raining down, families huddle for safety, troops are coming…all for real. And we wait to see what tomorrow brings in the land of future peace.