Air raid sirens sounded on the western outskirts of Jerusalem Sunday morning after a barrage of rockets was fired from the Gaza Strip toward the capital for the first time since Israel launched its military campaign against the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
The IDF announced Saturday night it assassinated Khaled Mansour, the head of PIJ's southern command, and his deputy Ahmed al-Madlal alongside PIJ Rafah Brigade commander Hitab Amassi in the southern Gazan city of Rafah.
PIJ confirmed Mansour's killing Sunday morning shortly before the attack and vowed that "his blood will ignite the campaign to defend Jerusalem" as tensions around the capital are expected to run high on Sunday due to Tisha B'Av — a day marking the destruction of both ancient Jewish temples.
"The Zionist aggression in the city of Rafah killed him... Khaled Mansour's blood will ignite the campaign to defend Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque, to which settlers will break in today," the group said in a statement.
IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav said Mansour held a parallel position to Tayseer Jabari, the head of the terror group's northern command who was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike on Friday, sparking the current military campaign in the Palestinian enclave, dubbed Operation Breaking Dawn.
Meanwhile, a salvo of more than ten rockets was fired at the southern city of Sderot. One rocket exploded near the entrance of an industrial facility in the city and the rest were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Late Saturday, the Palestinians reported that at least six children were killed and 15 people injured in a separate attack on the Jabalyia refugee camp in central Gaza.
The IDF said that no Israeli strikes were carried out in the area at the time and attributed it to a rocket misfire by Palestinian militants.