Hamas Takes Credit for Rocket That Hit Vehicle, Killing Driver

YERUSHALAYIM -
The scene where a car was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip near Yad Mordechai on Sunday. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)

Medical sources said that a third person was killed as the result of Gaza terror rocket attacks. The latest victim was a 60-year-old man who was struck while behind the wheel of his vehicle near Yad Mordechai, Sunday afternoon. The rocket attack mortally wounded him. Hamas took responsibility for that attack.

Earlier Sunday, a man who had been critically wounded in an attack in Ashkelon died of his wounds, security officials said. He, and two others, were hurt when a rocket hit a factory in the Ashkelon industrial zone, in a new round of rocket attacks by Gaza terrorists. The injured were taken to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where the man subsequently died of his wounds. Early Sunday morning, Moshe Agadi, Hy”d, a 58-year-old father of four from Ashkelon, was killed in a rocket attack that hit outside his home in the southern city.

As Hamas and Islamic Jihad continued their massive rocket attacks on southern Israel Sunday afternoon, the IDF continued to hit back, making “significant strikes” against Hamas infrastructure. The IDF said it has hit several targets, including the home of a top Hamas terrorist.

Israel Railways said that in a barrage of rockets to the Be’er Sheva area, there was damage to the infrastructure of train service in the area. Train service, which had been continuing throughout the day to and from Tel Aviv, was suspended. Bomb squad experts were attempting to remove the explosives that had landed next to the tracks and infrastructure.

Hamas also reported that it had hit a bus full of soldiers near the Gaza border, but that turned out to be untrue. B’chasdei Shamayim, the rocket exploded several meters away from the bus. No soldiers were injured in the attack. Another rocket hit a home in the Eshkol Regional Council. Two people were lightly injured in that attack.

The security cabinet began its meeting at 2:00 Sunday afternoon, an hour and a half later than expected. Government sources said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had been in consultations with top military advisers, examining options before presenting them to the cabinet.

Israeli sources quoted by Yediot Acharonot placed the blame for the flareup squarely on the shoulders of Hamas. “Islamic Jihad fired at IDF soldiers Friday, setting this off, and Hamas is being led by the nose by Islamic Jihad. Hamas is paying for their mistakes, so we are attacking them as well. Islamic Jihad is doing everything it can to cause an all-out war.” The sources also denied that Israel had tried to hold up the transfer of Qatari money to Hamas, which the terror group is supposed to get Monday. All checkpoints into and out of Gaza are closed Sunday due to the attacks, but Yediot Acharonot reported that Israel was still allowing fuel into Gaza for the Strip’s power plant, out of “humanitarian” concerns.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Sunday afternoon that Israel needed to keep hitting Hamas. Speaking at an Independence Day event for the Israel Police, Erdan said that “true independence is our ability to fight back against those who make war against us, and to allow the children of the south, and all our children, the ability to sleep soundly at night and to go to their kindergartens and schools during the day. From here I will go on to a meeting of the security cabinet, and my stance is clear – we cannot allow these low terror groups to get the best of us. The IDF must continue hitting Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who are persecuting residents of Gaza and who fire against their own protesters. We cannot allow these murderers to continue their way of life unimpeded,” he said.