November 15, 2020
Rocket falling outside Ashdod, Nov. 14, 2020. (Photo Credit: Screenshot from Twitter)
IDF fighter jets, combat helicopters, and tanks attacked underground infrastructure and military positions of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday. The attack was in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory on Saturday night.
Two rockets were fired 20 minutes apart from Gaza at Ashdod and the lowlands under the cover of the stormy weather Saturday night and landed in open areas. Alarms were activated in the Ashdod area and in Palmachim. Three residents of Holon, Bat Yam, and Ashdod suffered from panic attacks.
In both incidents, interceptors were launched at the rockets. The IDF stated that "two launches from the Gaza Strip to Israeli territory have been identified. One launch that did not necessitate triggering an alert in the area of ??the city of Ashdod, and another launch following which alarms were activated in the city of Ashdod and the area of the lowlands. The air defense fighters fired interceptors at the targets following policy."
Bat-Yam Mayor Zvika Brut announced that "some of the fragments of the Iron Dome missile fell on several streets in the city near the promenade and also in the coastal area."
Last week, the IDF deployed additional Iron Dome batteries in the Gaza envelope settlements ahead of the first anniversary of the liquidation of the commander of the northern brigade in Islamic Jihad, Baha Abu al-Ata. IDF forces in the Judea and Samaria area have also been placed on increased alert.
The security establishment estimates that Hamas had not changed its goal to prevent deterioration into a new humanitarian crisis by maintaining peace on the border with Israel. But there is fear that rogue elements, especially Islamic Jihad, will try to mark the anniversary with an attack on Israeli civilians.
Baha Abu al-Ata was responsible for numerous attacks and rocket fire against Israel in the months leading up to his elimination. Following his death, rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, including at the densely populated Gush Dan. Some of the rockets hit Route 4, a house in Netivot, the Eshkol Regional Council, and a factory in the industrial area of ??Sderot. The IDF reacted strongly, killing more than 30 terrorists, most of them while they were in the act of trying to launch rockets at Israel.