Rockets from the Gaza Strip continued into Israel over the course of Sunday, after a relatively quiet night on Israel’s southern front. The northern front saw a heated night, with five rockets fired from Syria into the Golan Heights, five rockets were fired from Syria overnight. No injuries were reported. Late Saturday night, a rocket was fired from Lebanon into northern Israel. At least eight people sustained light injuries in the attack, including three children.
Israel launched more airstrikes on Gaza on Sunday after taking its military campaign to a new level by flattening an 11-storey apartment tower on Saturday, following a warning to residents to evacuate. The bombing attack, which brought Al Zafer Tower in Gaza City crashing to the ground, marked the first time Israel had destroyed so large a structure in the current round of fighting. The Israel Defense Forces said the building contained a command center belonging to Hamas militants, and that it had fired a non-explosive warning rocket on Saturday, 10 minutes before attacking. Local residents said the high-rise housed 44 families. Medical officials said 17 people were wounded in the Israeli strike.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered security forces to step up strikes on Saturday, after a mortar shell attack on a kibbutz near the Gaza border killed four-year-old Daniel Tragerman. A funeral was held for Tragerman on Sunday morning.
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Latest updates [Sunday]:
7:41 P.M. Over the course of Sunday, 117 rockets have been fired – 108 explosions, nine interceptions.
7:34 P.M. Rocket hit house in Ashkelon. No word yet of injuries. (Shirley Seidler)
7:28 P.M. Sirens sound in dozens of communities across southern Israel, in Ashdod and Ashkelon areas. (Shirley Seidler)
7:19 P.M. Sirens sound in Eshkol and Sdot Negev Regional Councils. (Shirley Seidler)
7:08 P.M. Sirens sound in Eshkol and Ramat Negev Regional Councils. (Shirley Seidler)
6:55 P.M. More sirens sound in Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
6:52 P.M. Three rockets explode outside kibbutz in Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
6:37 P.M. Rockets explode outside community in Sdot Negev Regional Council and in an open area in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
6:28 P.M. Sirens sound in Ashkelon and Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Four more rockets fall in open areas in Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage reported. (Shirley Seidler)
6:10 P.M. A rocket exploded in a community in Eshkol Regional council. No warning siren sounded. Damage to a house and infrastructure reported, but no casualties. (Shirley Seidler and Gilli Cohen)
6:01 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Eshkol Regional Council. A rocket also exploded in a street in Sderot, causing shrapnel damage to adjacent cars and houses. Two people are treated for shock at the scene. (Shirley Seidler)
5:44 P.M. IDF strikes two Hamas militants in Jabalya who it claims had earlier fired rockets at Sderot. (Gilli Cohen)
5:40 P.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the cabinet meeting that schools in proximity to rocket fire that are not protected will not open when the academic year begins on September 1. (Jonathan Lis)
5:28 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in communities around Gaza border. (Haaretz)
5:15 P.M. Reports emerging from Gaza that five people, including three children and their mother, were killed in an Israel Defense Forces attack in the Tel A-Zatar neighborhood north of Gaza City. Aircraft reportedly struck the Judeh family home without prior warning. The Palestinian health ministry has put the day’s death toll at 13. (Jack Khoury)
4:59 P.M. IDF: Over 80 projectiles have been fired at Israel from Gaza on Monday. Of those, 75 rockets and mortars have exploded in Israeli territory. (Gilli Cohen)
4:55 P.M. Four rockets explode outside communities in Sdot Negev Regional Council (Shirley Seidler)
3:59 P.M. The Israeli army says it has struck Mohammed Talat al-Ghoul, responsible for Hamas’ salary transfers, in an air strike. According to the army, a direct hit was recorded. In Gaza, reports have emerged that an air strike hit a vehicle on al-Wahda Street in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, killing one and wounding ten. Hamas has not yet made an official announcement regarding the reports. (Gili Cohen and Jack Khoury)
3:50 PM Two rockets explode outside a community in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirley Seidler)
3:26 PM Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian television in an interview today that he intends to launch a diplomatic bombshell in the coming week, in the form of an unorthodox proposal to resolve the Palestinian issue on both political and diplomatic levels.
According to Abbas, the “surprise” will not be a declaration of war on Israel, but rather an initiative to be presented to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is expected to visit the region in the near future. Abbas said that while his proposal is unlikely to receive a warm response from Washington, it enjoys broad Arab support. Abbas’s statement came after his visit to Cairo with the Palestinian delegation. (Jack Khoury)
3:20 PM Rocket intercepted over Be’er Tuvia Regional Council; another explodes in an open area in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, while yet another is intercepted over the region. (Shirley Seidler)
2:52 P.M. Two Gaza rockets explode in a kibbutz in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. Two other rockets exploded in open areas. No injuries reported. (Shirly Seidler)
2:44 P.M. The military says it struck the mortar launcher used in the attack on the parking of the Erez border crossing, which wounded three Israelis, as well as the launcher that was earlier used to fire rockets at Be’er Sheva. (Gili Cohen)
2:40 P.M. The Erez border crossing with Gaza will be closed following the mortar attack from Gaza that wounded three Israelis there, except for humanitarian cases. According to information supplied by the military, 53 patients are slated to cross on Sunday for medical treatment from Gaza to Israel. (Gili Cohen)
2:35 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Sderot and in several communities near the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
2:30 P.M. Mortar shell falls in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council. (Haaretz)
2:22 P.M. Sirens go off several times in communities near the Gaza border. (Haaretz)
2:22 P.M. In Deir al-Balah, located in central Gaza Strip, one Palestinian was reportedly killed in an Israeli airstrike, and at least 10 were wounded. Emergency services are still searching for survivors.
In Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan, a 2-year-old toddler and a 17-year-old man were killed and five people were wounded in an Israeli strike, according to Palestinian report. (Jack Khoury)
2:02 P.M. Rocket barrage fired at Ashkelon and the area. (Haaretz)
1:42 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts another rocket over the Merhavim Regional Council. (Gili Cohen)
1:41 P.M. Eleven mortar shells fell at the Erez border crossing in the attack that wounded three Israelis. (Gili Cohen)
1:38 P.M. Rocket sirens sound east and northwest of Be’er Sheva. (Haaretz)
1:29 P.M. Three people were wounded by mortar shells fired from Gaza at the Erez border crossing, located in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Of them, two suffered serious wounds and one was moderately wounded. Firefighters and emergency services are attempting to evacuate the wounded while still under fire. Earlier, it was incorreclty reported that five people were wounded in the strike. (Gili Cohen)
1:14 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts one rocket over the Merhavim Regional Council. Two rockets explode in open areas in Be’er Sheva and the Sdot Negev Regional Council and three other projectiles fall in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. (Gili Cohen and Shirly Seidler)
1:10 P.M. Five people have been killed and dozens wounded since midnight in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. (Jack Khoury)
1:07 P.M.One Gaza rocket explodes in an open area in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council. (Shirly Seidler)
1:03 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in communities near the Gaza border and in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Counil. (Haaretz)
12:56 P.M. Rocket sirens sound several towns near the Gaza border. (Haaretz)
12:54 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council, north west of Be’er Sheva, and in the Eshkol Regional council. (Haaretz)
12:30 P.M. The Philippines said on Sunday it was prepared to send soldiers back to a UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, should the security situation there improve. “We are still open (to send troops). We continue to be committed to the peacekeeping of the United Nations,” said Peter Paul Galvez, spokesman for the Department of Defense. On Saturday, the Philippines announced it was recalling 331 troops deployed with the UN in the Golan Heights at end of their tour of duty in October. Galvez said the security risks being faced by the Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights were “beyond our threat level capacity.” (DPA)
12:26 P.M. IDF says rocket exploded in open space in the Sharon region, north of Tel Aviv. Earlier, it had said the rocket exploded in an open space in the Tel Aviv area (Dan region). No siren was sounded. (Haaretz)
12:08 P.M. Three mortar shells explode in open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council. (Shirli Seidler)
11:57 A.M. More than 30 rockets and mortar shells have been fired so far since midnight from the Gaza Strip at Israel. (Gili Cohen)
11:52 A.M. Iron Dome intercepts a rocket fired from Gaza over Gan Yavne, near Ashdod. Several other rockets exploded in open areas. (Shirly Seidler)
11:36 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in several towns near the border with the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
11:30 A.M. Ahead of a cabinet meeting at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu says that the operation in Gaza will continue until its goals are reached. “I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to vacate immediately every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us.”
Netanyahu compares Hamas to the Islamic State, saying the organizations are “two branches of the same poisonous tree.” He adds: “The State of Israel will continue to side with the civilized world in its war against the violent and radical Islam.”
Netanyahu turns to residents of southern communities near the Gaza Strip: “We will do everything to help you in these difficult days… We will stay with you until quiet is restored.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says that “if the leaders of Hamas think that the can wear us down, they are wrong.” He says Israel will know how to put its hands on whoever threatens it. (Haaretz)
11:21 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in a community in the Eshkol Regional Council, located in the western Negev.
10:54 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in several towns near the Gaza border. (Haaretz)
10:50 A.M. The Lebanon Army has located the rocket launcher that was used Saturday night to fire rockets at northern Israel, local media reports. (Jack Khoury)
10:40 A.M. Speaking at Daniel Tragerman’s funeral, President Reuven Rivlin told southern residents: “The whole nation is with you.” Rivlin said the boy was too small to cross the road by himself, but old enough to understand what rocket sirens are. (Shirly Seidler)
10:09 A.M. Daniel Tragerman’s funeral ends. Hundreds attended the ceremony. (Shirly Seidler)
10:04 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Sderot and in communities near the border with the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz)
9:45 A.M. Iron Dome intercepts a rocket fired from Gaza over the Ashdod area. (Gili Cohen)
9:14 A.M. Rocket sirens sound is communities near Ashdod. (Haaretz)
9:10 A.M. The funeral of Daniel Tragerman, the 4-year-old boy killed in a mortar attack on a kibbutz near the Gaza border, commences.
Speaking at the funeral, Daniel’s mother says the family “always thought that you would be the youngest leader that would bring peace,” and that now that this could not happen in his life, she hopes it will happen in his death. (Shirly Sediler)
9:05 A.M. An Israeli air strike killed two people on a motorcycle in Gaza City early on Sunday, medical officials there said. The Israeli military had no initial comment on the strike. (Reuters)
8:42 A.M. The rocket attack from Syria on Saturday was not errant fire, but a deliberate attack, the Israeli military says. Five 122mm Grad rockets were fired at Israel late on Saturday, it said. The IDF did not immediately respond to the rocket fire. (Gil Cohen)
8:39 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in several towns neat the Gaza border. (Haaretz)
8:32 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in towns near the Gaza border. (Haaretz)
8:20 A.M. Two mortar shells fell in the Eshkol Regional Council. One of the shells landed in a community near the Gaza border and another in an open area. No damage or injuries were reported. (Shirly Seidler)
7:45 A.M. Projectiles fired from Gaza sparked a fire in agricultural land near the southern border, causing damage. Firefighters arrived at the scene and put out the flames. (Shirly Seidler)
7:33 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in towns near the Gaza border. (Haaretz)
7:01 A.M. Sirens sound in the Gaza border areas and the Hof Ashkelon region.
6:48 A.M. Up to five rockets explode outside communities in the Sdot Negev region.
6:25 A.M. Almost five hours of quiet is broken by sirens in the Eshkol, Shaar Hanegev and Sdot Negev regions.
1:53 A.M. Five rockets explode in the Golan Heights, apparently fired from Syria. No injuries are reported but electrical infrastructure is damaged.
1:35 A.M. Three sirens sound in the Golan Heights.
1:20 A.M. Palestinian sources report Israeli air strike on four-storey building in Rafah. Injured residents taken to hospital.
12:10 A.M. People injured in the katyusha strike on a community in the western Galilee have begun arriving at hospitals in the north of the country. The Nahariya medical center has admitted eight people so far, most of them with minor injuries or suffering from shock. An eight-year-old girl has a head injury, apparently from a collapsed tiled roof. (Eli Ashkenazi)