The Israeli air offensive was launched amid a 60-rocket-mortar Palestinian barrage on Israeli locations Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Terrorist bases and rocket teams were targeted. Iron Dome intercepted seven Grad missiles aimed at the town of Ashkelon, but the Ashkelon coastal region, the Eshkol and Shear Hanegev districts and other locations, were badly battered for many hours. Four homes took direct hits and two seriously injured Thai farm workers were lifted by IDF helicopter to hospital. Shock victims were treated locally.
Tuesday night, two Hamas operatives were killed and five injured in Israeli air strikes after sustained Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli locations that day. An IDF company commander was seriously injured by a bombing device on the Gaza border fence Tuesday morning.
People living within rocket range of the Gaza Strip were advised to stay close to shelters Wednesday. Eshkol district and Ashkelon coastal region schools stayed closed.