UPDATE: We’ve now topped 600 rockets fired at Israel in 36 hours. Israel assassinates senior Hamas leader. Three Israelis & 12 Palestinians dead as crisis intensifies. 150 Iron Dome intercepts, but direct hit on Israeli factory. Here is the latest. #PrayForIsrael #PrayForGaza

Gaza-rockets-May4

UPDATED at 6:00pm local time: (Jerusalem, Israel) — Here is the latest:

  • UPDATE: “The Israeli military said it struck over 260 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza on Sunday in retaliation for 600 rockets launched from the Strip that have killed three Israelis,” reports Haaretz.
  • UPDATE: “Gaza health ministry says Israeli strikes killed 12, injured 105 since Saturday,” reports i24 News. 
  • UPDATE: “Senior Israeli Air Force Officer says over 600 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip,” reports a correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. 
  • UPDATE: The Iron Dome is functioning at 86% accuracy, but Israelis officials caution that no defense is perfect and under such a heavy barrage some rockets are going to get through and do serious damage, even take lives.
  • UPDATE: As of Sunday afternoon, 13 people in Israel were hit by rockets, missiles and mortar shells from the Gaza Strip, including two seriously injured, two moderately injured and six lightly wounded, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service,” reports the Times of Israel. “Twelve people were also lightly injured running to bomb shelters, while 66 people received medical treatment after suffering anxiety attacks from the strikes.”
  • UPDATE: Eleven Palestinians have been in Gaza, reports Haaretz.
  • UPDATE: “Hamed Khoudary, 34, was killed in an Israeli airstrike less than an hour ago, while he was driving his car. Was responsible for transferring money from Iran to military factions in Gaza. This is the first targeted assassination in a while,” the Washington Post reported in a Tweet, citing a statement by the IDF.
  • After a massive and near-continuous barrage in the early afternoon, we are now at least 507 rockets and mortar shells that have been fired at Israel from Gaza since 10am on Saturday.
  • At least 150 rockets have been intercepted so far by the Iron Dome system, while 70% of the rockets have hit open fields, or malfunctioned and fallen into the Gaza Strip itself.
  • One rocket made a direct hit on a factory in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.
  • An Israeli car also took a direct hit, possibly from an anti-tank missile.
  • Three Israeli are now dead — a 58-year old father of four who was taking a smoking break outside his bomb shelter when rockets landed nearby, and two people killed as a results of these new direct hits. 
  • Three Israelis have also been critically wounded.
  • At least 80 Israeli civilians have been treated for stress and trauma.
  • “The Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli strikes had killed six Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old niece in their east Gaza City home Saturday,” reported the Associated Press. “However, Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Sunday that a detailed review found that a Palestinian rocket had misfired [thus landing inside Gaza rather than reaching Israel] and killed them. He said the Palestinians were ‘trying to sell a story that isn’t true.’ The conflicting accounts could not immediately be reconciled.”
  • More detailed information on Palestinian injuries is not currently available, but I’ll share more when I can.
  • “The Israeli military says it has targeted some 40 additional sites throughout the Gaza Strip in response to ongoing rocket and mortar attacks from the coastal enclave,” reports the Times of Israel. “In a statement, the IDF says the targets include tunnels and underground bunkers, military bases, weapons factories and rocket launching sites. In addition, the military targeted a number of weapons caches that it says were hidden inside the homes of Hamas operatives ‘deliberately near civilian populations.'”
  • “Iran, through Islamic Jihad — its proxy in Gaza — is behind the current escalation in the South, former national security advisor Yaakov Amidror said on Sunday,” reports The Jerusalem Post. “ran’s interest, Amidror said, is for Israel to embark on another major operation in Gaza, freeing up Tehran to do what it wants unhindered in Syria. The Iranian idea, he said, is that ‘Israel will be busy focusing on Gaza and not have enough energy to deal with the building up of an independent war machine in Syria.’ Iranian pressure, Amidror hinted, is the only explanation for why Islamic Jihad would fire on an IDF patrol while its leaders were in Cairo talking about an arrangement with Israel.”
  • Please don’t stop praying for Israelis and Palestinians on both sides of the border. Thank you so much.

For my last blog post on the crisis, please click here.

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