Qassams in Sderot, artillery fire in Gaza: The “Red Dawn” alert system in the southern town of Sderot identified at least five Qassam rockets launched at the community Monday afternoon, city hall spokesman Yossi Cohen said.
In response to the attack, IDF forces directed artillery fire at Qassam rocket launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip. Later, the Air Force fired missiles at rocket launching sites in the area. Meanwhile, all Gaza border crossings have been closed down, while Air Force jets continued to fly over the Strip and create sonic booms.
Overnight, the army fired more artillery shells at rocket launching sites, while Tuesday morning the Air Force targeted a northern Gaza area used to fire Qassams at Israel, the army said.
Also overnight, IDF gunships struck two structures in the Strip. The army said an office used by the Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades was hit in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, while an Islamic Jihad office was attacked in Rafah, in the southern Strip.
Palestinian doctors said a woman and two daughters were hurt by shrapnel from the missile fired in Rafah.
Earlier Monday, IDF troops on the border with Gaza raised their level of alert following the killing of Islamic Jihad commander Louie Sa'adi in Tul Karem on Sunday.
The Qassam rockets fired at Sderot were only an initial response to the killing of the Islamic Jihad’s West Bank leader, a group commander in the Jenin area said. “We’ll respond with full force…we’ll avenge the blood of our commander and our people any place our arm will reach the Zionist enemy,” Abu al-Muamen said.
According to Cohen, there were no reports of injuries in the rocket barrage. Police and army forces dispatched to the area were attempting to locate the landing sites. IDF forces located the remnants on the northern Gaza Strip security fence. According to the police radar, the rockets landed around the town, but not near residential areas. Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal said streets were largely empty as residents were bracing themselves for a Qassam barrage.
Local resident Gili Bohadana, 39, told Ynet he saw the Qassams being launched.
“Our home overlooks (Gaza town) Beit Hanoun. Four Qassams were launched, I heard them land but not in my area,” he said. “We also hear helicopters hovering above.”
“The “Red Dawn” system was activated twice. Earlier, they boosted patrols along the border and sent up helicopters,” he said. “Now the party has started. I’m guessing we’re going to have a very eventful holiday.”
The IDF warned terror organizations will try to avenge incidents in the West Bank through mortar and Qassam attacks on Sderot and the western Negev. At this point, no additional troops were sent to the area.
Palestinian terrorists responded to the killing of Sa’adi with wild threats. Islamic Jihad chief in Damascus, Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, promised revenge that would "shake up" Israel in response to the killing of Sa'adi, who he described as the "a great leader with a unique military capability." He added that Sa'adi's death would not harm Islamic Jihad, which he said would recover from the difficult blow.
"There's no doubt that the killing of Sa'adi brings us to a new point, and we must carry out a series of attacks against Israel, within the Green Line," said an Islamic Jihad member.
Tova Dadon and Ali Waked contributed to the story