Air War Continues To Take Its Toll

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

The air war with Hamas continued on Monday, bringing with it more casualties.

An 81-year-old man suffered serious head injuries after he fell while rushing to a bomb shelter in Be’er Sheva on Monday evening, the latest in a number of elderly people in various parts of the country who have been hurt while seeking shelter during air raids.

Two sisters, ages 12 and 13, were wounded by rocket debris near Be’er Sheva, according to police. The two sustained moderate to serious injuries and were evacuated to a hospital.

A volley of six rockets was fired into Ashdod on Monday at around 12:30 p.m. One of the rockets landed in the yard of a private house, injuring an eight-year-old boy’s hand. Magen David Adom treated him on the spot and he did not require hospitalization. The rocket also set a vehicle on fire.

Four other rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome in the barrage on Ashdod. Another rocket landed in an open area of the city.

The attacks came hours after an IDF soldier was lightly injured by a mortar round in the Eshkol Regional Council.

About half a dozen Israelis have been wounded since the start of the week-old Operation Protective Edge.

Gaza health officials claim that 169 Palestinians have been killed.

After a lull of about 24 hours, Tel Aviv was again targeted by Gaza rockets. Sirens went off at the evening rush hour at 5 p.m., with the Iron Dome defense system again responding. There were no reports of casualties or damage.

The IDF reported shooting down a drone sent into Israeli airspace from Gaza. This marked the first time unmanned aircraft has been deployed by Palestinian terrorists.

Hamas said on Monday that its armed wing had sent several drones to carry out “special missions” deep inside Israel, Reuters said.

A military spokesman said the drone was intercepted near Ashdod port by a U.S.-built Patriot missile, of the type that was used by Israel against Iraqi Scud missiles in the 1991 Gulf War.

The IDF was trying to locate debris from the downed craft in an area about 15 miles north of Gaza, chiefly to determine whether it had been armed.

The Israeli military continued its bombardment of the Hamas enclave by air and sea, but held off on a threatened assault on the northern Gaza city of Beit Lahuiya, where it says rocket launching sites are concealed in civilian areas. A U.N. aid agency said that about a quarter of the 70,000 residents fled southward to safety after Israeli issued warnings of an imminent attack.

Late Monday, the United States warned against an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, saying it would result in many more civilian casualties.

But the White House stopped short of criticizing Israel over the civilian toll of the offensive so far in Gaza, saying the government had a “right” and “responsibility” to defend their citizens against rocket attacks.