Israel hit by 320-rocket blitz from Gaza in 13 hours. Man killed in Ashkelon overnight. IDF strikes 120 targets

Southern Israel sustained a continuous Palestinian rocket blitz from Gaza all day Saturday, May 4, and well into the nigh, during which a man was killed in Ashkelon,. By midnight, more than 320 rockets had targeted ever widening swaths of southeastern Israel, of which Iron Dome batteries intercepted more than 60 before they exploded in populated areas. The IDF conducted non-stop air strikes on some 120 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, killing some 5 Palestinians, but not stopping the rocket fire. Israeli hits included a new Jihad terror tunnel in Rafah 20 meters underground and a six-story building in Gaza City which housed the offices of Hamas’ intelligence arm.

Hamas threatened to respond by sending rockets against Beersheba, while Jihad said it was ready to bombard Tel Aviv and Israel’s main international airport at Lod. During the day, Egyptian intelligence tried its hand at brokering a ceasefire – to no effect. The IDF Home Command decided meanwhile to close the schools on Sunday in all pats of southern Israel, including the important towns of Beersheba, Ashkelon, Netivot, Ofakim, Kiryat Gat, Ashdod and Kiryat Malachi – up to the northernmost point from Gaza, Gan Yavne. More than a million residents were advised to stay close to sheltered areas until the emergency was over. The two directives, which force them to stay at home, disrupt the lives of most of these communities.

DEBKAfile reported earlier.

Direct rocket hits to their homes seriously injured a woman of 80 in Kiryat Gat and a man in Ashkelon, when the Palestinians, more than an hour after shooting more than 100 rockets into Israel on Saturday, May 4, widened their scope to the Lachish region (59km NE of Gaza) – targeting the towns of Kiryat Malachi and Kiryat Gat – and still further northeast to Bet Shemesh (77km away) in the Jerusalem hills. Several more people were wounded by flying shrapnel and shock. By mid-afternoon, the Palestinians had fired at least 160 rockets into Israel and there was no sign of their offensive abating. Direct hits against incoming rockets by Dome batteries prevented mass casualties and major damage.

While the Palestinian rocket blitz kept hundreds of thousands of Israelis confined to shelters, they were informed that Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi was closeted with top commanders and security officials for consultations on Israel’s next steps, at the end of which they will be joined by Prime Minister and Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Judging from past performance, the government and high IDF command are hoping that diplomatic contacts with Egypt will put a stop to the Palestinian rocket assault on the Israeli population, without the IDF’s recourse to a large-scale military operation against Gaza. Those contacts have been ongoing for more than a year, since Hamas launched its violent March of Return rampages on the Gaza-Israeli border, with no practical outcome – aside from fruitless Cairo mediation effort for a long-term truce which never materializes.

In the interim, the Palestinian terrorists have honed their skills and upgraded their forces to regular militias and gained overweening confidence. Saturday afternoon, Hamas boasted that its next attacks would target the Ben Gurion international airport, the Dimona nuclear city, Ashdod port and the Haifa oil refineries. While Jihad set its sights on the Eurovision contest taking place in Tel Aviv on April 13.

Only last week, IDF officials tried presenting the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip as making an effort to reach a truce with Israel, except that the pro-Iranian radical Islamic Jihad kept on putting spokes in the wheel by launching long-range rockets against Israeli civilians. This false picture was exposed on April 29, when Hamas fired a long-range rocket into the sea off Israel’s largest port at Ashdod. And the heavy rocket barrage on Saturday finally shot down that pretext when it turned out that the scores of missiles aimed across a wide spectrum of civilian targets were being launched and orchestrated on orders of a joint war-room which Hamas and Jihad had established in the Gaza Strip. How come that the IDF and its intelligence arms were caught napping on Saturday?

It is also worth noting that the IDF has not made any serious effort to put a stop to the heavy rocket barrage at source even after southern Israel was pummeled for six hours or more. Meanwhile, Gaza’s closest neighbors and the towns of Rehovot, Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot and Ofakim went on high preparedness after the first wave of 100 rockets, most of which were shot down by Iron Dome batteries. The Home Command later ordered local councils to open public shelters, public events, including two soccer games, canceled, farmers were told stay away from their fields and all residents to stay close to sheltered areas.

Finally, towards Saturday evening, official word came from the prime minister’s office and the IDF command, with little comfort for the battered population. The IDF had decided to shut the Erez and Kerem Shalom gateways into the Gaza Strip until further notice and close Gaza waters to Palestinian fishing. Furthermore, the prime minister had decided to summon the security cabinet into session  – but not before Sunday.

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40 thoughts on “Israel hit by 320-rocket blitz from Gaza in 13 hours. Man killed in Ashkelon overnight. IDF strikes 120 targets

  • May 4, 2019 @ 17:13 at 17:13
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    Only Hamasians need Gaza.
    Israelis do not need Gaza.
    Israel does not need Gaza.
    Arabs do not need Gaza.
    Then, fluck it!

    • May 4, 2019 @ 18:00 at 18:00
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      Bibi the Great- the great talker, but fearful actor…
      As he let Shalit rot 5yrs in terrorists hands – he now lets whole of Israel be struck with missiles again and again, flattening empty shacks in Gaza in response…
      Whats the matter with this man ?
      This is irrational / irresponsible…
      What do Israelis say ? I would for sure not accept this crazy situation / would not let Bibi enjoy cozy life in his villa in caesarea while my home in Sderot is bombed to pieces/ my family injured…
      Whats the reason for this irrational behaviour ??7

      • May 4, 2019 @ 20:07 at 20:07
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        Well, there is a lot of reasoning. What is his best card for a possible trial? A war. But now, none is useful to him. And he has three (at least) levels: Gaza, Lebanon and Iran. All this is far better than a new set of laws. A major conflagration with Gaza, to keep the government busy. But, not dealt in full force, just to keep it alive for the needed period. Not enough? We shall go for Lebanon. This is much more serious. And the lats, not the least, Israel is under “Emergency regulations” (תקנות לשעת חירים). If you do not know the issues, please read about. Bibi can do legally A LOT of NASTY things. But the majority of South voted Bibi. So, why shed tears?

        • May 5, 2019 @ 3:20 at 3:20
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          GAZA IS BADLY NEEDED, USEFUL AS SAMPLE AND BUFFER
          1st – it is evidence of wicked hateful terrorists impossible to carry a dialog with, and no peace possible to even consider.
          2nd – and most important, buffer for deportation of new wicked hateful terrorists found in Israel after the retrieval of the Judea and Samaria.

          In pride the wicked pursue the needy; let them be caught in the schemes they devise.

          • May 5, 2019 @ 10:13 at 10:13
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            israil kaos ve savaş çıkartan ve terörü destekleyen bir devlettir avrupadaki htlerin yahudileri öldürmesini katliamını çok çabuk unutmuş israil

      • May 5, 2019 @ 6:20 at 6:20
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        With the status quo, till now, there have been nearly no Israeli casualties. If we (IDF) goes in, there will be many Israeli casualties. That’s the entire reason.

      • May 5, 2019 @ 11:10 at 11:10
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        Target Hamas terror leaders now. The poison and hate starts at the top and works its way down. Cut off electricity and all supplues and services to the terror enclave of Gaza now.

      • May 6, 2019 @ 15:02 at 15:02
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        Because they want Isreal to concentrate its forces on Gaza. While pre-occupied there, they would attack on other fronts.
        They want Israel to act now before their oil funding dries up. Iran is the real enemy, not their Gaza puppets.

    • May 4, 2019 @ 21:29 at 21:29
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      As many have said, the longer Israel waits to respond with force, the stronger and more bold hamas becomes.

      And this is proving to be true. Yet Israel’s military hasn’t learned this lesson.

      Will Israel wait until Ben Gurion Airport is bombed before they retaliate, or will they still talk tough while they do nothing (or bomb empty buildings after giving warnings to hamas)?

      The longer Israel waits, the worse it will be for Israelis.

    • May 4, 2019 @ 23:31 at 23:31
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      The need next tranche of cash from USA, that was the message ; If they will not get it , they will attack Southern USA province of Arabia/Israelia;This time they expect 500 million ; and filed their needs on ICC;

  • May 4, 2019 @ 17:23 at 17:23
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    I wish they would try to attack BenGu. If the Palestinians want to lose all chances at 2state solution, go ahead and attack Dimona. That would be an attempt at exterminating Israel. Guess what the response would be!? remember Adolph Ichman….

    • May 4, 2019 @ 17:27 at 17:27
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      BenGu was already targeted in 2014 and nothing happened.

  • May 4, 2019 @ 17:34 at 17:34
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    Only when they attack the airport, will the sleeper idf and the pm wake up that peace is not possible with gaza

    • May 4, 2019 @ 20:10 at 20:10
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      Nothing will happen, unless Bibi’s chair is threatened. Learn the History.

  • May 4, 2019 @ 18:26 at 18:26
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    i see that the bed is too short for one to stretch…

  • May 4, 2019 @ 19:02 at 19:02
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    Nothing will change under Bibi’s watch.Sad but true.Expect another ceasfire in the coming days nr ??.The never ending story continue.Stay tuned. More to come…. or send more cash……Bibi is on the wrong track and can’t handle it.Very weak leadership or should i say non leadership at all.

    • May 4, 2019 @ 20:40 at 20:40
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      Nasrallah is watching and all this big Israeli talk about strength will go up in the Hizballah smoke. They will smoke you one day soon

      • May 4, 2019 @ 20:50 at 20:50
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        Snake Nasrallah is scared. He hides underground, like a snake. He only surfaces a few times a year because he knows he is a target.

        • May 4, 2019 @ 22:59 at 22:59
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          Nasrallah is just another example of a Coward in Hiding Afraid to a Real Battle Real Men or Women of Jehovah, G-d and Allah. Contrary to Popular Beliefs, most Muslims aren’t Arab and Millions of Arabs aren’t Muslims. There are more than 20 Faiths in Arabia. In fact, religion is the reason behind many civil Wars, current and past, in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa. Except Arabs will Fight Themselves since they Cannot Win Battles nor Wars against anyone since the 15th Century! So, they wear Burka’s to Hide and Let Others People Die or Starve under their Cruel Rule!

  • May 4, 2019 @ 20:00 at 20:00
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    Israel will not do anything. There are no more empty buildings left to bomb is Gaza.

  • May 4, 2019 @ 20:30 at 20:30
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    The Hamas will go Crying to the Egyptians to save them and kneel while asking, so be it. This is what Cowards do, Squat as they Ask for Alms and Protection!

  • May 4, 2019 @ 20:57 at 20:57
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    If Israel wants to survive, without any further incidents. Total invasion of Gaza is the only solution. Of course, the world will cry ‘foul’ for a few days. They are not living with this daily madness. God speed…..Israel Forever.

  • May 4, 2019 @ 21:49 at 21:49
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    I agree with most off responders , bibi is to interested in keeping himself out off jail ,as I said before he will only act if forced,shame on him, speaks out off both sides off his mouth ,clearly see he has little care for south likes a good public face & a quick ceasfire with a hand out

  • May 4, 2019 @ 22:40 at 22:40
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    Forget Going to Cairo !
    Its time to kick the Hamas to the curb and permanently disable them from attacking Israel ever again. Then take out Fatah if they try to take Hamas place as aggressors.
    Go in and smash ALL their tunnels, too!
    How can you treat your citizens this way ! They live in fear every day. This is INSANE! Enough is enough !!
    Get rid of your enemies, all of whom are begging for you to take them out.
    For God’s Sake, do your people justice so they can live in peace !

  • May 4, 2019 @ 23:17 at 23:17
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    I guess Hamas must have read the earlier article you have since removed stating that Hamas was in short supply of missiles. Sounded like you were daring them to fire missiles. They didn’t let you down. I thought that article was brazen and stupid and irresponsible!

    • May 5, 2019 @ 0:12 at 0:12
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      `Or perhaps a Provocation was needed and this dwindles even more Missiles no longer can be used and Iran cannot replace with losing more Money from Oil Iran can’t sell unless a big Discount. It does not matter, nothing has changed as Gulf States, Israel, America, and Others Grow Stronger and looking Elsewhere for Oil and America, Russia, and Gulf states can provide it to Europe, China, India, Japan, and South Korea. While Iran, Gaza, Hizbollah and Houthis Grow Weaker with every Missile Fired!

    • May 5, 2019 @ 6:57 at 6:57
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      I completely agree! what a stupid article.

  • May 5, 2019 @ 0:49 at 0:49
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    Israel needs to inform Gaza residents that they need to leave within a certain time frame and not return as Gaza is about to be destroyed to eliminate all terrorists and any Palestinians that remain may suffer the consequences of harboring the terrorists. The gracious offer of giving them a functioning piece of ground has failed with allowing Hamas to take over this gift. This is now rescinded and will be taken back by Israel.

    • May 5, 2019 @ 5:25 at 5:25
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      Israel knew after 18 Years of Rockets sooner or later the Time is coming to Hunt the Leadership of Hamas and No Longer Treating Hamas as a Tactical Nuisance. New Laser Technology is already here as the US Air force is preparing to use it and stopping more than Rockets but Hunting People Responsible and Blowing up any Cache of Weapons anywhere even better than Drones. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia offered Palestinians Abbas that are on the Brink of Poverty but choose to Continue to Prioritize Paying Terrorist Salaries over providing Basic Government Services to its People? An example, is going to be made and it will fall upon Hamas suffering a Devastating Reckoning it Never Contemplated, Watch, Wait, and See! Abbas can be replaced as well. Change are Coming to the Middle East!

  • May 5, 2019 @ 2:07 at 2:07
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    It seems that for once Debka was off target in its conclusion to its May 3 dispatch regarding constraints on Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket supplies: “Neither Palestinian terrorist organization has the wherewithal to launch more than a small trickle of rockets – if that”

    • May 5, 2019 @ 5:36 at 5:36
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      There is still not much damage done even with 300 Rockets, and Hamas can send another 1,000, and Hamas has gain nothing but Continues Living into Poverty. Meanwhile, much Intelligence has been gathered and Gaza doe not have many Buildings to Live, Hide or Tunnel. Debka is not worried whatsoever the only Worries are being seen as the Demise of Rockets being Fired is a Sign of Weakness on Hamas, Palestinians, Hizbollah, Houthis and Iranian Shiia. All are Dwindling their Resources and nothing more, and those Resources like Water are Drying Up As well. They are just Crying before the Reconvening, Reconsigning for the Reckoning!

  • May 5, 2019 @ 6:40 at 6:40
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    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…Lol

  • May 5, 2019 @ 6:51 at 6:51
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    Countering terror is not hitting source of rocket fire,but hitting Hamas leadership.
    If intelligence about Hamas leadership is scarce then hit administrative buildings.
    Let Hamas run govt in tunnels.

    • May 5, 2019 @ 8:37 at 8:37
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      Exactly, there are 1,836,713 Palestinians in 2018 Living in Gaza that i sup from 1.6 Million in 2010. They are suffering from their Leadership and for Voting for Hamas when they actually had a Chance of turning Gaza into a Mecca of Tourism as offered by the Gulf states, European and Asian Investors? The set the stage to align with Iran, follow by Hizbollah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen, and now both Live in Poverty and Abbas just turn down a $10 billion Offer From Saudi Arabia? Target the Leadership and all Underlings will send a message to Iran as well, Just like when Sadat chose peace after Losing his Son in Battle against Israel. Family matter but not in Iran and Gaza?

  • May 5, 2019 @ 7:00 at 7:00
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    make a phone call to sisi in Cairo. tell him Gaza is going to be cleaned. everything. and after this, he can decide…either Egypt will administer it, or the Gazans will go and live in el arish. then level the entire place.

    • May 5, 2019 @ 7:33 at 7:33
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      Excellent Idea! Go for it!

  • May 5, 2019 @ 8:45 at 8:45
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    Something needs to be done BUT it needs to happen:
    A) after Eurovision as cancellation will hurt Israel
    B) after Trumps peace plan is presented and the Palestinian leadership rejects it (in fact they already have even though it hasn’t been presented),
    C) the new Palestinian political party is up and running properly as an alternative to the existing losers,and
    D) once Lieberman is Defense Minister as it takes the decision making away from Bibi

    We need to see out the next few weeks. Remember that Israeli soldiers will die in cleaning Gaza. Currently Iron Dome is preventing major losses. Morality should be maintained.

  • May 5, 2019 @ 10:03 at 10:03
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    questions I d like to ask ,,,how come no intelligence on these attacks & prevented this,, why hasnt these slime ball leaders not been taken out before hid like rats , Im still amazed why people voted for bibi again even in south

    • May 5, 2019 @ 11:47 at 11:47
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      Every one on this planet knew that Hamas would attempt to disrupt EUROVISION in Tel-Aviv.
      Shin-bet and Mossad knew it will happen. Same scenario with Hizballah soon, when Gaza cools down in a few days…

  • May 5, 2019 @ 16:41 at 16:41
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    Cowardice and Indecision: Real or Perceived, do not go over well in the M.E.
    Especially in the eyes of suicidal scum of this Earth in Gaza…

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