Since Friday, March 9, 2012, more than 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, striking major population centers in southern Israel, placing more than 1,000,000 Israelis under the threat of rocket fire. Terrorist groups such as the PRC (Popular Resistance Committees) fired rockets into the cities of Ashdod, Beersheba, Yavne, Netivot and Ashkelon, as well as into the Eshkol and Shaar HaNegev regional councils.
PM Netanyahu: "The recent activity is testimony to my government's policy - aggressive action in order to prevent Israeli citizens from being hurt and increasing home front defense. Our message is clear: Quiet will bring quiet. Whoever violates it or even tries to violate it - we will find him. We achieved precise hits on those who perpetrate terrorism, terrorist commanders, terrorism infrastructures and many missiles that were aimed at our cities and communities."
Grad rocket explodes in Netivot, in residential parking lot, March 13 (Photo: Reuters)
The informal truce declared on March 13 was broken by four rockets and seven mortar shells fired at Israel. A Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in a parking lot in the heart of Netivot on Tuesday evening (13 March). A man was lightly hurt by shrapnel and 20 people were treated for shock. Damage was caused to several vehicles and an apartment building.
In response, the Israel Air Force struck two terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, after having refrained from aerial attacks on the Gaza Strip throughout the day.
Despite the rocket fire, it was decided to reopen schools in southern Israel on Wednesday, March 14.
March 18: After a relatively quiet weekend, schools in the south are reopened as the south begins to return to a state of normalcy.
March 14: The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted two Grad-type rockets launched toward Be'ersheva on Wednesday evening, while a third exploded in an open field
In response, IAF aircraft targeted a rocket launching site in the northern Gaza Strip and a terror tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip.
Schools in many southern cities will again be closed.
- Israel submits letters of complaint to UN
- IDF timeline of events
- IDF on YouTube
During the latest round of escalation more than 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip targeting Israel. Of them, 117 fell in southern Israel. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted and destroyed several dozen, preventing hits on populated areas.
Ashdod struck by rockets - March 12, 2012 (Photos: Reuters)
PRC spokesman Abu Mujahid admits Hamas allows attacks against Israel