Rockets from Gaza rain on southern Israel as cease fire elusive

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than 30 rockets fired from Gaza rained down on southern Israel over the weekend, with at least two reaching Beersheba.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted the rockets fired at Beersheba, a city deeper into southern Israel than any rockets have reached during the current round of attacks from Gaza.

Beersheba was last targeted in November – December 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense. At that time rockets also reached to Tel Aviv and the Jerusalem area.

The terrorist organization Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, on Saturday night said that the group has long-range rockets that can reach all of Israel. It denied that it was on the verge of reaching a cease fire with Israel.

“The IDF is prepared to do whatever it takes to restore peace to southern Israel. If necessary, we will respond with force,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz  said Saturday evening while on the border with Gaza.

Twice between Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, Israel’s Air Force attacked what it called “terror targets” in Gaza, including concealed rocket launchers, a weapons manufacturing site and a terror cell preparing to launch rocket attacks on Israel.