Today the Hamas in Gaza fired 60 rockets at Israeli civilian targets. Since the end of the ceasefire there has been continuous missile, mortar and rocket bombardment from Gaza at civilian targets in Israel. Sirens have sent residents of southern Israel to seek shelter in "secure rooms". For the first time, rocket-alert sirens have also been activated in Kiryat Gat, Ashdod and Kiryat Malachi though rockets have not yet fallen there.
Israel has finally had enough and today there was a massive airstrike on Gaza military targets by the Israel airforce. The Hamas was caught by surprise and many military targets were eliminated. A state of high alert has been declared. From ynet: The army called on communities located close to the Gaza Strip fence, and also on Sderot residents, to remain indoors. Public gatherings have been disallowed. Other communities located up to 10 kilometers away from the Strip were ordered to remain 15 seconds away from secured rooms. There too, no public gatherings are allowed.
In communities located 10-20 kilometers away from the Strip, including Ashkelon, residents were ordered to remain no more than 30 seconds away from secured rooms. Communities located in the 20-30 kilometer range, including the towns of Ashdod, Ofakim, Kiryat Malachi, and Kiryat Gat must remain 45 seconds away from shelters.
An email exchange:
Nicole (resident of Hof Ashkelon): "We heard the blasts and booms of the IDF attacking Gaza very heavily this morning, and then there were red alert sirens - rockets being launched in our direction. I don't know of any that landed in Hof Ashkelon but by mid afternon today 6 rockets had fallen in Ashkelon - miraculously they landed in open spaces, we heard it - but only faintly this time.
Netivot is bearing the brunt of the missile attacks in the current barrage, with one person killed and injuries. I expect you are reading all about it in ynet. Here the TV is continuously reporting . It's still Hanuka vacation but in any case schools have been closed until further notice.I'm supposed to be leaving on Monday night on a trip overseas but I am loath to go while this is going on".
Ira Kerem in reply: "Things are going to probably get a lot worse in the next few days and weeks. Hamas and the other terrorist groups have ordered all out war on Israel. As we have learned from Lebanon, there is a limit to what the air force alone can do to protect civilian targets. So after more of our civilians are killed, there will be a call for the army to go into Gaza and then we will lose a few hundred soldiers and be in the same situation. We will be condemned by the UN and most of the world for killing innocent civiliians. It really is no win. Go on your trip. Your presence in Hof Ashkelon is not going to save the situation".