After two hours’ quiet, the communities adjoining the Gaza Strip emerged early Wednesday to count the damage caused by the intense 24-hour Palestinian assault from Gaza of more than 130 rockets and shells. A building in the Eshkol district took a direct hit before dawn, causing heavy damage but no casualties. Overnight, as the broad Palestinian barrage continued on dozens of sites, the Israeli air force struck another 25 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza strip They included stores holding incendiary kites used to vandalize Israeli crops, workshops turning out rockets and other weapons parts, military compounds and training facilities for terrorists. Hamas and Jihad claimed a ceasefire had gone into effect early Wednesday, brokered by Egypt. Israel’s transport and intelligence minister Israel Katz denied an agreed ceasefire was in effect. If the terrorists held their fire, so too would Israel, he said. He noted that Hamas and Jihad had taken joint responsibility for the most extensive Palestinian assault on Israel in the past four years, with Iran pulling the strings behind it.
Israeli schools reopened in the communities adjoining the Gaza Strip amid extra security, especially for the school buses.