The escalation in Israel’s southern region continues this morning: more than 90 rockets have been launched since Friday evening towards the city of Be’er Sheva and additional southern towns following an IDF attack that killed the Popular Resistance Committees’ (PRC) Secretary General, Zuhir al-Qaisi. Qaisi was among the planners of the Road 12 terror attack in August, 2011, in which eight Israelis were killed in a combined terrorist attack.
Since Friday, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has launched attacks directed against multiple targets, including launch sites, weapon production sites in the Gaza Strip, and a "terror hub," as defined by the IDF Spokesperson.
The IDF has reported that the Iron Dome system successfully intercepted 25 rockets launched towards Be’er Sheva and Ashdod. Two additional rockets that the system didn't hit fell in open areas, with the others beyond the system's operational coverage area.
Since the start of the escalation, four people have been wounded in Eshkol, one of them is in serious condition. The Palestinians have reported that the number of casualties in the Gaza Strip rose to 12 since the start of the IAF attack yesterday.
As a result of the events, the IDF has announced a state of high readiness with the alert color raised to red.
Responding after the death of al-Qaisi, also known as "Abu Ibrahim," the IDF Spokesperson stated that an IAF aircraft attacked the vehicle in which he was driving. According to reports from Palestinian media, another PRC terror activist by the name of Mohammed Hanani, who was recently returned to Gaza in the framework of the Shalit exchange deal, was killed along with al-Qaisi.
According to the IDF, al-Qaisi was planning and leading a terrorist attack against Israelis, which was supposed to have occurred near the Israel-Egypt border.