Rocket crashes through roof of Ashkelon home, injuring 28

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A rocket fired from Gaza struck a home in Ashkelon and damaged about 50 neighboring apartments, injuring 28.

The family living in the home was running to a safe room when the rocket struck early Tuesday morning; they were not injured.

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The rocket left a large hole in the roof and destroyed two rooms of the home.

Security forces said later that the rocket’s warhead was exceptionally large and could be a new type of rocket, perhaps intended to travel longer distances, the Times of Israel reported.

Later on Tuesday, a rocket landed in the playground of a kindergarten in Ashdod.

Also Tuesday morning, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket over Tel Aviv.

The armed wing of Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it fired long-range rockets at Tel Aviv and Haifa in response to attacks on several buildings in Gaza overnight.

Israeli military aircraft fired on two residential towers in Gaza City early on Tuesday morning, destroying the buildings.

The 16-story Little Italy complex, which also contained a commercial area, collapsed, as did the 14-story al-Basha building, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.

Residents fled the buildings prior to the air strikes after receiving phone calls with pre-recorded warning messages from the Israeli military, according to Maan.

The IDF said the buildings served as Hamas command and control centers.

The Israel Air Force also attacked a boys’ school in Gaza City from where the mortar that killed 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman was launched. The displaced Palestinians sheltering in the school were warned to evacuate the building before the attack took place.