Rocket fire from Gaza at southern and central Israel and Israeli air strikes on the strip continued on Friday. A 4-year-old boy was killed in the afternoon when a mortar barrage hit a car in a community near the border with Gaza.
Earlier, a rocket hit a synagogue in Ashdod, injuring three people lightly. Before that a heavy rocket and mortar barrage on southern Israel left one Israeli moderately wounded by shrapnel in Be’er Sheva. Also, a home in the southern city of Sderot suffered a direct rocket hit.
In Gaza, Hamas reportedly executed 18 Palestinians suspected of being Israeli informers on Friday, according to a Hamas official and online sources. The official said that all had been convicted in legal proceedings.
Palestinian sources reported that two people had been killed in an Israeli strike on an agricultural area in Nusseirat, in the central Gaza Strip.
The executions followed the deaths in an Israeli air strike on Wednesday of three leading Hamas military commanders. The operation was described by Israeli officials as an intelligence coup.
A 33-year-old Israeli man who was wounded by mortar shrapnel in Eshkol on Thursday was reported to be in serious but stable condition.
Germany, France and Britain have begun working on a UN Security Council resolution that would end the fighting in the Gaza Strip, a document obtained by Haaretz revealed.The U.S. has also joined the European initiative, diplomats said.
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Latest updates [Friday]:
1:17 A.M. According to the IDF, the mortar shell that killed a 4-year-old boy was not fired from a school used by UNRWA as a shelter for refugees. “After further review, the school the mortar was launched near from is not being used as a shelter by UNRWA but rather a shelter maintained by Hamas authorities in Gaza,” IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner tweeted. (Haaretz)
11:37 P.M. Mortar shell lands in an open area outside of a community in Eshkol Regional Council. No damages. (Shirly Seidler)
11:22 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in several towns near the Gaza Strip.
11:15 P.M. The person wounded earlier by rocket fire near Ashdod is a 25-year-old man, the Magen David Adom emergency service says. (Haaretz)
10:39 P.M. Two rockets intercepted by Iron Dome over Ashdod. (Shirly Seidler)
10:30 P.M. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman attacked the government for not defining a clear objective for the operation against the Hamas and called on the government to order the defeating of Hamas, in an interview with Channel 2 News on Friday evening.
“There is no doubt that the Hamas can be defeated,” Lieberman said. “The operation needs to end with the Hamas waving a white flag and begging for an unconditional cease-fire. In a cabinet meeting I presented a model for the defeating of the Hamas, and it doesn’t have to take a month and a half nor even a week and a half. This is a model that I believe can be implemented.”
According to Lieberman the defeating of the Hamas would mean that the organization will not be able to fire rockets, manufacture new rockets or rebuild its tunnels.
10:22 P.M. The Israeli military rejects a Palestinian claim that people were wounded in an Israeli strike in Gaza’s Sabra neighborhood, saying that no ambulance activity was identified in the vicinity of the target following the attack. According to the military, a warning unarmed missile was fired at the house prior to the strike.
The IDF says that the apartment is Sabra was used by Hamas operatives. (Gili Cohen)
10:21 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in several towns east of Ashdod (Haaretz)
9:57 P.M. Four people were wounded by rocket fire near Ashdod, one of them in a very serious condition. (Gili Cohen)
9:56 P.M. A military source says that the mortar shells that killed the 4-year-old boy earlier on Friday were fired from a school used by UNRWA to shelter Gaza refugees, located in the Gaza City neighborhood of Zeitoun. (Gili Cohen)
9:43 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in several towns near Ashdod. (Haaretz)
9:38 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in several towns near the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
9:18 P.M. Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar says Palestinian ‘resistance forces’ will not accept nor cooperate with international agreements that hinder its armament and the tools of resistance. In a statement on behalf of the Hamas Al-Zahar said that the ‘resistance forces’ will not accept agreements that do not fully remove the air and sea blockade on Gaza. (Jack Khoury)
9:10 P.M. At least 15 Palestinians are wounded in an Israel Air Force strike on a house in the Sabra neighborhood in western Gaza City.
Seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks since Friday morning, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. (Jack Khoury)
9:03 P.M. Alon Schuster, who heads the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, says: “This summer, Israel can’t be drawn into a war of attrition. It’s either that we are going into battle, or for a diplomatic agreement.”
8:52 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip.
8:45 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in a number of towns near the Gaza Strip and near Netivot.
8:30 P.M. Rocket sirens sounds in Sderot. (Haaretz)
In Be’er Sheva, an Iron Dome battery intercepted one rocket over the southern city; three other rockets exploded in open areas. (Gili Cohen)
8:24 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Be’er Sheva and in the Merhavin Regional Council. (Haaretz)
7:53 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in a couple of Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
7:49 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls Alon Schuster, the head of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, and expresses his condolences and deep sorrow to the family of the killed 4-year-old child.
“In this difficult moment, I wish to strengthen the people of Israel,” the prime minister says. “Hamas will pay a heavy price for this terrible terrorist attack. The IDF and the Shin Bet will intensify their operations against Hamas and the terrorist organizations in Gaza until the goals of Operation Protective Edge will be reached.” (Gili Cohen)
7:45 P.M. IDF says 90 rocket and mortar attacks were fired from Gaza into Israeli. Ten rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome. (Gili Cohen)
7:32 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in several Israeli towns near the Gaza border.
7:24 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in the Netivot area. (Haaretz)
7:10 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in several Israeli towns near the Gaza border. (Haaretz)
6:22 P.M. Four-year-old boy killed when mortar shell hits car in kibbutz by Gaza border. (Shirly Seidler)
6:21 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in an Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
6:10 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts one rocket over central Israel. (Gili Cohen)
6:00 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Tel Aviv and across central Israel. Several explosions heard. (Haaretz)
5:36 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in an Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
5:33 P.M. Rocket explodes in Sderot home, no one injured. (Shirly Seidler)
5:26 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in an Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
5:22 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in a couple of Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
5:13 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Sderot and several Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. At least one rocket was intercepted by Iron Dome over Sderot. (Haaretz)
5:03 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Sderot and several Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
4:04 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in a couple of Israeli towns near Gaza border. Rockets explode outside parameter fence.(Shirly Seidler)
3:45 P.M. Rocket hits synagogue in Ashdod. Two people injured by shrapnel. (Gili Cohen)
Medic examines damage to the Ashdod synagogue’s structure.
3:25 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in the Ashdod region, south of Ashkelon and in several towns just north of Gaza. (Haaretz)
3:11 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in several Israeli towns near the Gaza border. Two rockets explode outside a town’s parameter fence. (Haaretz)
2:38 P.M. A rocket lands in open ground in the Gush Dan area. No siren was sounded. (Haaretz)
2:15 P.M. Hamas reportedly executes another seven people accused of collaboration with Israel. According to online reports, they were executed publicly in a central Gaza square. (Haaretz)
1:35 P.M. Two morter shells fall in the Eshkol region, one of them inside a community. Minor damage was caused to buildings and one woman treated for shock. (Haaretz)
1:30 P.M. Sirens sound in the Hof Ashkelon region. (Haaretz)
12:30 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts three rockets over Sderot. Others fall in open ground. (Haaretz)
12:21 P.M. Five mortar shells land outside communities in the Eshkol region. No damage reported. (Haaretz)
12:19 P.M. A 54-year-old man was moderately wounded by rocket shrapnel in a Be’er Sheva parking lot. (Gili Cohen)
Location of the Rocker explosion in Be’er Sheva Photo by Eli Hirschkowitz
12:02 P.M. Sirens sound in Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and Sderot. (Haaretz)
11:47 A.M. Israeli security forces manning a roadblock in Hebron open fire after a second molotov cocktail is thrown at them. (Gili Cohen)
11:45 A.M. Rocket intercepted over Sderot, second falls on open ground. (Shirly Seidler)
11:24 A.M. Official South African team to leave for Gaza next week after receiving Egyptian permission to enter via Rafiah. (Haaretz)
11:20 A.M. 11 Palestinians suspected of being Israeli informers were executed on Friday morning at the Gaza City police headquarters, according to a Hamas official. All 11 had been previously convicted by a Gaza court, the source said.
The executions follw the deaths in an Israeli air strike of three leading Hamas military commanders. The operation was described by Israeli officials as an intelligence coup. (DPA)
10:41 A.M. The Iron Dome system intercepts two rockets in the Ashkelon region. (Gili Cohen)
10:39 A.M Sirens sound in Ashkelon and the Hof Ashkelon region. (Haaretz)
10:37 A.M. The deputy head of Islamic Jihad says that the cease-fire negotiations are not over and that Hamas has not withdrawn from them.
10:33 A.M. Two mortar shells explode near the border fence in he Eshkol region. (Shirly Seidler)
10:07 A.M. Three mortar shells explode in the Eshkol region. No siren was heard prior to the attack. (Shirly Seidler)
9:51 A.M. Palestinians report two people dead in Israeli strike on agricultural area in Nusseirat, in the central Gaza Strip.
8:57 A.M. Molotov cocktail thrown at a police roadblock in Hebron. No injuries reported. (Gili Cohen)
8:52 A.M. Iron Dome intercepts rocket over the Hof Ashkelon region. (Gili Cohen)
8:15 A.M. Sirens sound in the Eshkol and Hof Ashkelon areas. (Haaretz)
8:10 A.M. Twenty-nine people were killed by Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, the Palestinian health services reported.
That brings the number of fatalities since the cease-fire collapsed last Tuesday to 58 people. Some 2,078 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the campaign began in early July.
The number of wounded currently exceeds 10,300.
Palestinians note that Israel’s current focus appears to be on the targeted killings of Hamas military commanders and those of the other Palestinian factions.
Israel’s political and military leaders have said repeatedly in recent days that nobody in Hamas is immune to attack.
Three senior Hamas military leaders were killed in Israeli air strikes in Rafah on Thursday. Palestinian officials said a total of 11 people, including women and children, were killed in the attacks in the Tel al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah.
On Thursday afternoon, searchers found the body of the daughter of Hamas military leader Homahhed Deif, whose family home in Gaza’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood was attacked on Wednesday. The girl’s mother and brother were also killed in the strike.
News sites associated with Hamas reported on Thursday that the organization’s security forces were rounding up collaborators with Israel, following the numerous targeted killings. So far seven suspected collaborators had been arrested in the last few days. Three others were executed after the legal procedures against them were completed. (Jack Khoury)
6:59 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council near Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
6:42 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council near Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
6:37 A.M. Israeli army strikes 10 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, the IDF says. In addition, an Israel Air Force strike hit five militants. (Gili Cohen)
6:14 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council (Haaretz)
4:02 A.M. American diplomats said the U.S. had joined the European effort to produce a UN Security Council resolution that would call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and advance the goal of a durable peace. (AP) Read more here
11:53 P.M. Israel is examining the option of renewing the Egypt-mediated truce talks in order to reach a long term deal with Hamas, a government official said. “The end of the operation, we believe, must go through Cairo,” the official said. Cabinet ministers, among them Bennett, Lieberman and Livni, voiced their opposition in recent days to negotiating with Hamas. During a stormy debate on the issue in the last cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu reprimanded Bennett for his public stance on the subject. Read full story here. (Jonathan Lis)
11:42 P.M. Hamas’s Gaza-based deputy political leader Ismail Haniyeh issues a statement following the deaths of three commanders in Hamas’ military wing: “Their martyrdom is a natural price in our journey. The way is long, and the warriors of al Qassam will reap a heavy price from the enemy. The enemy’s crimes only strengthen our resolve to seek an end to aggression, a removal of the siege and liberty. Those involved in the cease-fire initiative must know that the Palestinian people will not settle for less than an end to the aggression and the final removal of the Gaza blockade.” (Jacky Khoury)
10:59 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Ramat Negev Regional Council. The alarm is believed to be a false one. (Shirly Seidler)
10:56 P.M. According to the IDF, 109 rockets and mortar shells launched from Gaza since midnight. 95 projectiles landed, including seven in built-up areas, and 13 interceptions. More than 60 targets have been struck in Gaza. (Gili Cohen)