Israelis were reeling from another day of violence after more than 450 rockets were fired from Gaza in one day, killing one man, a father of four whose home absorbed a direct hit by one of the projectiles.
Two more Israelis were killed on Sunday when a rocket hit a factory in Ashkelon during the workday. Another is in critical condition after either a rocket or an anti-tank missile hit his car in Sderot.
Several homes and schools were damaged and Israelis were cautiously staying near shelters in affected areas. Police evacuated the beach in southern communities and closed national parks. Schools throughout the entire southern region were canceled on Sunday.
Many of the rockets reached as far as Ashkelon, a city a couple of miles outside the immediate communities surrounding Gaza. On Sunday a rocket reached Beer Sheva which is 40 miles from Gaza. Israel responded by bombing over 200 Hamas and Islamic Jihad military targets and is mobilizing on the Gaza border today as the nation prepared for more fighting.
The army said that approximately 70 percent of the rockets fired fell in open fields, and some 150 headed toward populated areas were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The rockets that did manage to bypass Iron Dome hit homes and schools though. Moshe Agadi, 58, a father of four, was declared dead after being rushed to the hospital after a middle of the night rocket hit to his home.
Another strike destroyed a kindergarten in Sderot, which was closed for the weekend.
Residents living in the Gaza periphery have about 10 to 15 seconds to reach shelters. In Ashkelon, they have about 30 seconds.
“Hamas bears responsibility not only for its attacks and actions, but also for the activities of the Islamic Jihad, and it is paying a very heavy price,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We are acting, and will continue to act, to restore quet and security to the residents of the south.”
Agadi was the first Israeli fatality from Gaza rocket attacks since 2014’s war with terrorists based in the Strip. A Palestinian man working in Israel was killed in a rocket strike in Ashkelon in November.
Believers around the world should join with Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau who called the world to pray for the situation.
“Each one of us must bear mutual responsibility, read chapters of Psalms and strengthen Torah learning for peace for the nation of Israel,” he said.