The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday morning said Palestinian terrorists had launched 104 projectiles from the Gaza Strip amid a daylong flare-up in violence, sparked by the death of a prominent Palestinian Islamic Jihad member while on a hunger strike in an Israeli prison.
Speaking to reporters, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the projectiles included rockets, mortars, and shoulder-launched missiles fired at Israeli aircraft over Gaza.
The Iron Dome air defense system intercepted 24 of the projectiles, marking a 90% interception rate of rockets heading for populated areas, Hagari said. Another 48 projectiles landed in open areas in southern Israel, 14 fell short in Gaza, 11 landed in the sea, and another seven had unknown impact sites.
Hagari said the IDF was investigating the circumstances that led to at least two rockets landing in populated areas, including one that hit a construction site in the southern city of Sderot and wounded three foreign nationals, one moderately and two lightly.
However, police have said officers dealt with at least five rocket impact sites in urban areas, some of which landed close to homes, which the IDF did not include in its tally.
“We have something to learn about the [rocket] that hit the construction site,” Hagari said. Last year, the IDF boasted of a 97% interception rate by Iron Dome.
The IDF struck 16 separate targets belonging to Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror groups across the Gaza Strip overnight, Hagari said.
The targets included a Hamas training camp; another base that housed a weapons production site, a concrete production plant, and a training site; a site belonging to the Hamas naval commandos; and a tunnel used by Hamas in southern Gaza.
“All the targets we wanted to strike, we struck,” Hagari said.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said a 58-year-old man, Hashel Mubarak, was killed, and five other civilians were wounded as a result of one of the Israeli strikes near Gaza City.
Israel and the Gaza terror groups agreed to a ceasefire mediated by officials from Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations, early Wednesday morning, according to the Al Jazeera and Reuters news outlets, citing Palestinian sources.
The two sides agreed to the truce that was supposed to go into effect at 4 a.m., according to the reports.
Though at 5:36 a.m., Islamic Jihad launched at least two rockets toward the southern Israeli community of Nir Am, getting the final word. No damage was caused. An Islamic Jihad spokesman later also confirmed the ceasefire in a statement.
The IDF said that after a situational assessment, it had decided that those living in communities bordering the Strip could return to their usual routines.
Still, Hagari warned that the situation could explode at any moment.
“We are in a continuous assessment of the situation. We returned the situation to normal on the home front when we saw this was possible… Everything is open, everything is on the table,” he said.
Times of Israel