A barrage of at least 25 rockets fired from Gaza fell on southern Israel early Monday. One mortar shell fell in the yard of a kindergarten.
Over two dozen mortar shells were fired at Israel about 7 a.m. Tuesday by Islamic Jihad terrorists based in the Gaza Strip.
The Iron Dome anti-ballistic system intercepted mortar shells headed toward inhabited areas.
One man was slightly injured after shrapnel from one of the shells hit his hand.
The attack came as parents were beginning to send their children to school.
The volley of shells is being billed as the single-largest ballistic attack on Israel from Gaza since the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.
The Islamic Jihad threatened this week to respond to an IDF attack in Gaza in which three of its fighters were killed.
“We will not give up our duty to the dead, I know how we will respond to this serious escalation,” the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, Al-Quds Brigades, said. “The Zionist enemy can not dictate a new formula in which it will harm our people without a painful response.”
Sirens blared throughout Sha’ar Hanegev, Eshkol regions during at least two separate attacks from Gaza. The Iron Dome defense system intercepted most of the projectiles. Palestinian sources said that Israel retaliated with air and tank fire
At 8 a.m., exactly one hour after the approximately 25 mortar shells were fired at the Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regions, incoming rocket alert sirens were triggered for a second time in the Eshkol region, the army said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, local government officials said.
One of the shells landed just outside an empty kindergarten in the Eshkol region, less than an hour before students were due to arrive, a spokesperson for the community said.
The kindergarten — along with all other schools — was set to open as usual, despite the attack.
Tuesday’s rocket attack also came less than 12 hours after Palestinians in the Gaza Strip opened fire with a machine gun at the southern Israeli town of Sderot, causing damage but no injuries, in the second such attack in recent weeks, the army said.
The heavy gunfire triggered incoming rocket sirens in Sderot and the surrounding Sha’ar Hanegev region, according to the army.