Israeli minister calls for ground offensive after Palestinians launch dozens of rockets into Israel

Monique Hamm | Contributor

At least 85 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israeli forces and civilians since Saturday morning, and one Syrian mortar shell exploded in Israel — prompting retaliatory warning shots by the Israeli Defense Forces.

In the past six hours, rockets have struck southern Israel, including two that hit the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council building.

A number of missiles have been intercepted by the IDF’s “Iron Dome”– a mobile missile defense system that can intercept short-range missiles fired toward populated areas.

At 4:30 pm on Saturday, Palestinian terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep conducting routine surveillance of the border. The attack injured four IDF soldiers and resulted in an immediate firefight.

“The world needs to understand that Israel will not sit idly by in the face of attempts to attack us. We are prepared to intensify the response,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Saturday.

Other politicians in Israel are calling for more severe actions in retaliation against the Palestinian fighters. The country’s minister of water and infrastructure, Uzi Landau, said on Sunday that Israel should commence a ground assault.

“We must not just go after those firing at Israel, but the true sources of the fire,” Landau said, referring to Hamas, Arutz Sheva reports.

Five Palestinians have died from Israeli military response to the rockets so far.

A Syrian shell exploded in Golan Heights, Israel the second time this week, causing Israeli Defense Forces to fire warning shots into Syria. This marks Israel’s first shots fired into their neighboring country since the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, according to Israeli news outlets.

“We didn’t continue firing because this was one mortar we were responding to,” a source said to The Jerusalem Post.

“We will not accept any firing into our territory,” he added. “This was a signal to the Syrians, that we will not be so forgiving of everything that lands in a territory.”
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