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operation shield and arrow

860 rockets fired at Israel so far, first Israeli civilian killed — what will Friday hold?

Will IDF convince terrorists to stop, or is escalation coming?

Police and rescue forces at the scene where a rocket fired from Gaza hit and damaged a house, killing one, in Rehovot, May 11, 2023. (Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

After three days since the beginning of Operation Shield and Arrow, Israel suffered its first victim when a rocket from Gaza hit a building in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv.

The rocket launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad made a direct hit on the apartment building, reportedly evading the Iron Dome missile defense system due to a technical error, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Map of central Israel, showing Rehovot in red (Screenshot Google Maps)

As of 7 a.m. on Friday, terrorists in Gaza have launched 860 rockets toward the Jewish state, while the IDF reports that none have been shot since 10 p.m. on Thursday night.

Operation Shield and Arrow began on Tuesday night, when the Israeli military carried out overnight airstrikes in the Gaza Strip targeting – and killing – three senior members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.

Israel said the strikes were a “response to incessant aggression on the part of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.”

Iron Dome defense system fires interception missiles as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in Sderot, May 10, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The PIJ operatives targeted were Khalil Bahitini, the commander of the al-Quds Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip; Tarek Azzaldin, a spokesperson for the movement, who was also responsible for terrorist activities in the West Bank and Gaza; and Jahed Ahnam, the secretary of the military council of the PIJ.

Police and army at the scene where a rocket fired from Gaza into southern Israel hit and caused damage between houses in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, May 10, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Iron Dome defense system fires interception missiles at rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, in Sderot, May 10, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on the Israel-Gaza conflict but did not release any public statement following the closed session, reportedly because of a veto by the United States due to Israeli pressure.

“We succeeded in stopping a proposal in the UN Security Council to publish a statement condemning Israel,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told Israeli Army Radio. “The hearing last night ended with nothing,” he added.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away from UN headquarters in New York, Erdan led a delegation of several UN ambassadors to the Jewish state.

“The delegation of ambassadors is a major effort that I lead at the United Nations. Bringing UN ambassadors to Israel is an effective way to show the true face of the country,” stated Erdan.  

In addition to employing the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, Israel announced on Wednesday the first successful operational use of David’s Sling. The advanced mid-range missile defense system succeeded in intercepting an incoming Gaza rocket that was fired toward the metropolitan Tel Aviv region. 

A test of David's Sling interceptor missile in Dec. 2015 (Photo: United States Missile Defense Agency)

As fighting continued on Thursday, the IDF announced the elimination of another senior PIJ commander in charge of the organization's rocket launching force in Gaza.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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