Hamas fired over 30 rockets in a ten-minute period into Israel on Monday, with hits reported in Sha’ar HaNegev, the Eshkol Region, Netivot, Sderot, and Be’er Sheva between 8:00 – 8:10 pm IST. No buildings were reportedly damaged. One Ashkelon resident is being treated for shrapnel injuries.
“Code red” sirens have reportedly been sounded as of 8:30 pm as far as Tel Aviv and in Gush Etzion; rockets could be seen from as far away as Beit Shemesh, just west of Jerusalem, eyewitnesses told Arutz Sheva.
Magen David Adom (MDA) has raised the alert level as of Monday night throughout central Israel.
In addition, preschools without bomb shelters in Ashkelon have been closed until the situation is quieted.
The barrage follows the Security Cabinet decision to prepare for escalation in the South, including a possible military campaign.
At least 1,500 reserve soldiers had been called up for preparatory training for a possible operation, security officials stated earlier Monday. Hours earlier, photos surfaced showing tanks and IDF forces gathering close to the Gaza border.
“We are also investing significantly in gathering our security forces,” the official stated to Arutz Sheva Monday afternoon. “Until now we have had two full staffs working on the situation and we are readying ourselves for escalation [with Hamas].”
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck multiple terror targets earlier Monday, including a “significant” terror tunnel.