Hamas Fires Rockets at Southern Israel Motzoei Shabbos

Gaza rioters during clashes with Israeli forces east of Rafiach in the southern Gaza Strip, on Friday. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

Residents of southern Israel on Motzoei Shabbos were sent to safe rooms and bomb shelters, after several rockets were reportedly fired at towns in the Gaza border area. The rockets apparently fell in open areas, and security forces were searching for them.

The attack comes after a tense weekend. IDF forces hit two Hamas outposts in Gaza, after some 13,000 rioters threw stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border fence, in the biggest riot in several months. Several rioters attempted to breach the border fence, cutting through the fence and running into Israeli territory before running back after they were spotted. One soldier was lightly injured in a rock attack, while Gaza sources claimed that one rioter was killed.

Numerous loud explosions were heard in the Gaza border area Friday night. IDF sources said that the explosions were from the neutralization of bombs Hamas had planted along the border fence. Officials said that several dozen terror balloons with explosive devices attached were flown by Gaza terrorists into southern Israel.

Yediot Acharonot on the weekend quoted a senior security source as saying that it was likely that Israel would again delay the third installment of Qatari cash that had been set to be delivered to Hamas last week. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced last week that Israel would not allow the third installment of Qatari cash to be transferred to Gaza.

The decision came in the wake of a Hamas attack early Monday, in which the terror group fired a rocket at Ashkelon. Reports Friday said that an Egyptian delegation visited Gaza Thursday and promised Hamas that the $15 million in Qatari money that Israel has held up will be delivered to the terror group this week – if the riots on the Gaza border Friday were not too serious. The money could be delivered as soon as Sunday, the Egyptians told Hamas. Given the events Friday, the Israeli source said, it was likely that the money would be held up again this week.