Civilian visiting soldiers is first Israeli killed in Gaza conflict

Marcy Oster

A fire caused when a rocket from Gaza, struck near the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon, July 15, 2014. (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

A fire caused when a rocket from Gaza, struck near the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon on July 15, 2014. The IDF reports that Gaza terrorists have fired nearly 35 rockets at Israel since Tuesday morning. (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A civilian bringing food to Israeli soldiers near the Gaza border was the first Israeli killed by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge.

The 37-year-old man was pronounced dead upon arrival at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon on Tuesday afternoon; he had received emergency treatment in the field. He was visiting soldiers at the Erez border crossing when he was hit by mortar fire.

Nearly 200 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed during the first eight days of the operation.

About 40 rockets were fired at Israel during the 7 p.m. hour, bringing the day’s total to nearly 100.  Israel observed a cease-fire for about six hours on Sunday, but rockets from Gaza continued to rain down on Israel.

Following the resumption of Israeli attacks on Gaza Tuesday, Israel’s Air Force attacked 30 targets across Gaza, including 20 underground launchers, tunnels, an ammunition depot, and the house of an Islamic Jihad official, Haaretz reported, citing the Israel Defense Forces.

Also Tuesday afternoon, rocket fire from Gaza hit a second power line that provides electricity to Gaza, lowering the strip’s power supply by 20 percent. The Israel Electric Company said it will not repair the lines until it can be sure of its employees’ safety.