After one rocket launched from the Gaza Strip at Sderot Friday evening was intercepted by the Iron Dome system, a second rocket landed between two cars in the southern city. No people were hurt but nearby cars were damaged.
"There was an immense explosion. I heard glass shattering and then car alarms. The walls of my house shook. I didn't dare leave the shelter. Now the entire street's closed off and police and bomb squad technicians are everywhere. Ambulances are parked in front of my house and paramedics are looking for anyone who might have been hurt," said a local Sderot woman.
Shortly before the successful launch, Israel Air Force fighter jets bombed a Hamas training compound and weapons cache in northern Gaza Strip in retaliation to the two first rockets fired at the communities around the Gaza Strip. Palestinians report 25 people were wounded in the attacks.
The Iron Dome system was successful in intercepting a rocket launched at Sderot earlier, with the IDF Spokesperson's Unit saying there were no physical or material damage caused. A short while later a second alarm sounded in northern Negev communities, but the rocket seems to have fallen within the strip itself. The third alarm sounded in Sderot and Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, and a landing was confirmed in Sderot shortly thereafter.
"The IDF aerially attacked two terror targets in the Gaza Strip: a Hamas training compound and weapons cache. The assault was in retaliation to the rockets launched at the rocket launches earlier. The IDF considers Hamas exclusively responsible to any fire emanating from Gaza," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said.
Several communities on the Gaza perimeter decided—of their own volition but with IDF coordination—to instruct residents to remain near shelters due to the day's events.
In an announcement to residents, the Sdot Negev Regional Council said, "Due to alarms sounding in the council's communities recently, as a precaution we ask you to remain near shelters or protected spaces."
The first alarm was heard all at 6:11 pm across the communities around the Gaza Strip, with alerts triggered in Sha'ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev, Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol Regional Councils, as well as in Sderot.
The area's residents reported hearing a massive explosion. "My house's windows shook," said one resident.
The second alarm, triggered at 7:07 pm, sounded in the Sdot Negev and Bnei Shimon Regional Councils. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said a launch at Israel was identified, but no landing could be confirmed within Israel and the rocket is presumed to have landed within Gaza. Nevertheless, security forces continued scans of the region. The alarm sounding in Bnei Shimon was the first since 2014's Operation Protective Edge.
Alarms sounded in Sderot and the Hof Ashkelon and Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Councils Thursday as well. Palestinians terrorists launched two rockets at Israel, but they apparently detonated within the strip itself.
Near 6:15 pm an alarm was triggered in several communities, prompting security forces to conduct scans of the region, but the rockets were later found to have exploded outside Israel.
Several hours later the IDF said a tank and aircraft struck two terrorist posts in Gaza. The military added it considered Hamas responsible for any fire emanating from the Gaza Strip.
IDF artillery fire rained down on a Hamas observatory post in the center of the strip, Palestinian reports said.
The rocket's launch came on the heels of a day of violence with thousands of Palestinians clashing with IDF forces in the West Bank and near Gaza, in protest of President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
As part of the clashes, one protester was killed and 300 others were wounded, as per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. 25 were wounded by live rounds and their lives were not at risk, the ministry added, with the remaining being hit by rubber bullets and tear gas grenades. 55 Palestinians were wounded in the Gaza Strip in clashes near the border fence.