More than 70 rockets were fired at southern Israel on Tuesday, severely wounding an Israeli military officer and causing damage to several buildings, Israel Hayom reported.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer was hit by shrapnel from a mortar and rocket barrage in the Eshkol area. A Magen David Adom ambulance crew treated him on the scene, which saved his life, before he was airlifted to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. He was listed in moderate condition.
On Monday, IDF Homefront Defense Minister Avi Dichter told Israel Hayom that the military’s Homefront Command has operated “maturely and responsibly” amid the continued violence.
Dichter said, “Under very difficult conditions, with more than 1,000 rockets launched from Gaza and endless alerts wearing down the public, we still do not see the mass abandonment of homes or hysteria that we witnessed in the past. The people of Israel understand very well the nature of this emergency situation.”
In Beersheba, a bus and a car caught on fire after being hit by rockets. A house was also completely destroyed, but no injuries were reported. Some 30 rockets were fired into the city since Tuesday morning, with 16 rockets fired in just a single barrage. Three of the rockets scored a direct hit, causing damage.
In Gaza, the Israel Air Force continued to strike sites it believes play a role in attacks on Israel. Five people were reportedly killed in the strikes, and three were injured in the town of Dir El Balach. By Tuesday, civilians accounted for 54 of the 113 Palestinians killed since Israel began Operation Pillar of Defense, the Associated Press reported. Some 840 people have been wounded, including 225 children, Gaza health officials said.