IDF Strikes Back After Ashkelon Rocket Attack

Trails are seen in the sky as an Iron Dome anti-missile projectile intercepts a rocket that was fired from Gaza, above Ashkelon. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun, File)

IDF forces overnight Wednesday struck Hamas military outposts in Gaza, in response for the firing of a rocket at Ashkelon earlier in the night by Gaza terrorists. The rocket was intercepted by an Iron Dome defensive missile, exploding over the city but causing no damage. Reports from Gaza said that Islamic Jihad was behind the firing, but in a statement the IDF said that it considered Hamas responsible for all terror emanating from Gaza, and that the terror group “will bear all responsibility for any actions against Israeli civilians.”

The Red Alert siren was sounded in several communities in the Gaza border area, including Ashkelon. The rocket firing came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was speaking at an election rally in the city. Netanyahu was hustled off the stage and taken to a secure area. He returned to his speech after several minutes.

Speaking after the break, Netanyahu said that he believed the attack was timed to coincide with his speech. “Hamas and Islamic Jihad don’t want me to win, but we will win despite their efforts. Remember, the guy who fired rockets last time is no longer around,” Netanyahu said, referring to the IDF elimination of Islamic Jihad top terrorist Abu Alata last month. “The ones who fired the rocket this time should begin packing their bags.”