IDF forces responded with artillery fire Wednesday afternoon after Gaza Arab terrorists fired a rocket at southern Israel. The rocket exploded in an open area near the Gaza border. No injuries or damage were reported. The Red Alert early warning system did not sound. IDF fire targeted a Hamas shooting tower, destroying it. About an hour later, a second rocket was fired and exploded in an open area – and again, the Red Alert system did not sound.
With that, the IDF is concerned over the fact that the alert system did not sound for the second time this week. On Monday, a rocket fell in the same area and exploded in an open area, but the warning system did not sound as well. Officials have begun checking the system to determine if there is a problem. According to Channel 10, Wednesday’s rocket, although it fell in an open area, fell in an area close to a town in the Gaza border area, and thus should have set off warning sirens.
Meanwhile, the IDF completed its investigation of last Friday’s rocket attack on southern Israel. The attack came during a memorial ceremony for IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, whose remains Hamas has been holding hostage since Operation Protective Edge in 2014. The investigation indicates that the rocket was fired by Islamic Jihad terrorists. IDF officials believe that Hamas is attempting to hold back rocket attacks from Gaza, at least temporarily, but is unable to control the other terror groups in Gaza.
In an interview Motzoei Shabbos, Defense Minister Avigor Liberman said that the shells fired at Israel on Friday were manufactured in Iran and transferred to terrorist groups in Gaza. In response to that attack, Israel struck at Gaza twice – once on Friday, and late Motzoei Shabbos. In the interview, Liberman said that Hamas was acting very cautiously, but was losing control over other terrorist groups. “Hamas is being careful because they do not want war, as we do not, but the Salafist and extremist Muslim groups are acting on their own.”
Overnight Wednesday, security officials said they arrested 22 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.