Israeli planes destroy Gaza rocket launchers following attack

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli military planes destroyed five concealed rocket launchers and a weapons manufacturing facility in Gaza.

The attack on the sites came late Tuesday night, in response to five rockets fired earlier in the day from Gaza at populated areas of southern Israel, the Israeli military said in a statement.

Two of the rockets were intercepted near Ashkelon by the Iron Dome anti-missile system, and two landed in open areas.

A fifth rocket fired at Israel landed inside Gaza, reportedly striking a house and killing a three-year-old Palestinian girl, and injuring four members of her family.

A rocket intercepted by Iron Dome is about to hit a populated area, Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col Peter Lerner said Tuesday in a tweet.

“Gaza rocket attacks intentionally target Israeli cities, towns and communities; putting civilians at risk and in harm’s way. We are determined to act against those that strive to target Israel, operating under the umbrella of Hamas and on behalf of this terrorist entity. We will strike its operatives, rocket infrastructure and capabilities in order to deplete their capabilities and protect Israeli lives,” Lerner said in a statement issued Wednesday.

More than 20 rockets have been fired at Israel since three Israeli teens were abducted from a junction in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem on Dec. 12. Tuesday was the fourth time that Iron Dome has intercepted rockets in that period.