The rocket fire continued unabated last night, including three projectiles (thought to be large “Grad” rockets) fired from Lebanon towards Israel presumably by the terror group Hezbollah. The rockets were shot from south of the Lebanese city of Tyre and fell into the sea, directly across from the Israeli city of Nahariya, and did not cause any damage. Unfortunately, two more Israelis were killed, bringing the total to nine Israeli lives lost during this conflict. However, Magen David Adom reports having treated over 500 from violence. Nearly 400 people were hurt as a result of rocket fire while 160 more were injured during clashes and riots. Palestinians are reporting that 115 people have been killed and 600 injured since the fighting began.
In the largest attack since the fighting began, around midnight last night, some 160 aircraft conducted a simultaneous massive attack, dropping 450 missiles on a network of terror tunnels dug by Hamas under Gaza City. According to the IDF, the operation, which lasted 45 minutes, is a severe blow to Hamas’ ability to operate in the city. During the aerial bombings, Israeli tanks, artillery cannons, and infantry troops on the Gaza border fired barrages at Hamas targets that had emerged during the assault to attack Israeli positions. The IDF stressed that its ground forces remained on Israel’s side of the border. In total, some 500 artillery shells and 50 tank shells were fired by Israel during the exchange. The IDF has said it will call a further 9,000 troops, as speculation mounts that Israel may be considering a ground offensive into Gaza.
Of grave concern is the rioting that is happening throughout Israel. Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin met yesterday with the mayors of a number of Arab and Jewish towns.
The President told the council heads, “Condemn these events outright. Do not allow them to happen. We are better than this. Our home is on fire, and we don’t have another one. We are determined to maintain the security of our citizens, and that determination must direct us in dealing with the violence that is raging on the streets of Israel. This is home to us all, and we all bear the right and the duty to protect it. To defend it from all those who seek our harm beyond our borders, and to defend it from criminals fomenting disorder at home.”
The President added, “The violent disturbances we saw yesterday are a genuine threat to Israeli sovereignty. We must not allow it – even through silence – but must speak out clearly to commit to the rule of law in Israel, and to our shared existence. We must not allow extremists to set the tone. We must not allow violence to triumph. We are the moderate majority, Jews and Arabs, who want to continue to live here together.”
Yesterday morning, the Jewish Federations of New Jersey coordinated a briefing with the acting Israeli Consul General in New York with NJ State legislatures and their staff.