Israeli killed as Gaza rocket hits apartments in Rehovot

A middle aged man has been found under the rubble of the building in central Israel


(JNS) An Israeli has been killed after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a four-story building in Rehovot, 12 miles south of Tel Aviv, on Thursday evening.

The unidentified man’s body was found under the rubble of his apartment.

It is the first Israeli fatality since the start of “Operation Shield and Arrow” against Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

At least five other people were wounded in the rocket attack from Gaza.

Police officers were searching the site and sappers were removing parts of the rocket. Authorities reiterated calls for civilians to follow the relevant safety guidelines.

The rocket fire was the first directed toward central Israel since the previous day.

Closer to the Gaza Strip, one person was wounded by shrapnel from a rocket strike in Ashkelon.

Additionally, a foreign worker was hurt by shrapnel from the latest barrage in the Eshkol region. He was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital. His condition was not immediately clear.

Another direct hit in Sderot failed to injure anyone.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant requested on Wednesday Cabinet approval to extend the emergency declaration in force for communities situated within 40 km. (25 miles) of Gaza to all those located within 80 km. of the terrorist enclave.

The extension of the status would enable the IDF to determine safety guidelines for the civilian population, prevent large gatherings and close relevant sites in parts of central Israel, including in Tel Aviv.

The Israel Air Force on Thursday afternoon killed a fifth PIJ terrorist leader since the start of “Operation Shield and Arrow.”

Ahmed Abu-Deka, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad rocket launching force, was targeted.

As of 2:30 p.m., the Israel Defense Forces reported that Gaza terrorists had fired 547 rockets and mortar shells at Israel since Tuesday morning. Out of these 547 launches, 394 projectiles crossed into Israeli territory and 124 fell short in Gaza. Four Palestinian civilians, including a 10-year-old girl, were killed by the failed rocket launches, according to the IDF.

Israeli aerial defenses intercepted 175 rockets on their way to populated areas.

The IDF said it targeted 166 terrorist sites in the Gaza Strip since the start of the military operation.

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