Deputy DM: Iron Dome to be deployed in Be'er Sheva area
Following rocket fire launched from Gaza Wednesday morning, hitting a home in Be'er Sheva and the water off the coast of a central Israeli city, Eli Ben-Dahan says an additional Iron Dome battery will be deployed in the Be'er Sheve area, 'as soon as today'; when asked whether a malfunction occurred in existing batteries, replies: 'too soon to speak about that now.'
Ben-Dahan was asked by Knesset member Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) in the Knesset plenum whether one of the Iron Dome batteries deployed in the south of the country sustained a malfunction, leading to the destruction of the house in the southern city.
"It's too early to speak of malfunctions in the Iron Dome batteries, and I would advise to refrain from talking about that at the moment," the deputy defense minister replied.
"An additinal Iron Dome battery is likely to be deployed in the Be'er Shevea region as soon as today and this is as much as I can elaborate on the matter," he added.
The rocket alert siren went off at 3:39am in Be'er Sheva and surrounding communities in the Negev region, following which a rocket hit a house, breaking through two floors of concrete.
Seven people were treated for shock after the attack, including a 39-year-old mother and her three children aged 9, 10, and 12, who were in the house when it was hit. In addition, three people were taken to the Soroka Medical Center in the city suffering from light bruising sustained when falling as they were running for shelter.
At around 8:30am, the Code Red rocket alert was once again sounded in southern Israel, this time in two communities in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. There have been no reports of injuries or damage. An IAF aircraft attacked the terror cell that tried to launch rockets at Israel.
School was cancelled in Be'er Sheva, Sderot and the Gaza border communities following the rocket fire, though Ben-Gurion University announced classes will be held as normal.
Furthermore, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot decided to cut short his trip to the United States following the rocket attack, while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings and the reduction of the strip's fishing zone to three nautical miles.
After the early morning rockets, Hamas and Islamic Jihad released a joint statement in which they said they "oppose rocket fire that hurts the efforts to lift the siege."
In retaliation to the rocket attack, the IDF attacked over 20 targets, including a terror tunnel.
The IDF launched a retaliatory attack, during which at least one 25-year-old Palestinian was killed inside one of the posts and three others moderately wounded in the strikes, according to the Gaza health ministry.
Among the targets hit all over the strip were Hamas military bases, rocket manufacturing sites, underground infrastructure, an offensive tunnel, and tunnel dig sites in other areas, including one of a sea terror tunnel.
An IAF aircraft also attacked a terror cell in the northern Gaza Strip that tried to launch rockets at Israel.
The cell is said to belong to an "errant" radical faction, which was formerly part of Fatah and now has close ties to Iran.