Two Israelis dead, over 90 injured after Gaza rockets strike Ashkelon

Tel Aviv Municipality opened bomb shelters amid concern that Hamas and Islamic Jihad will try to launch rockets toward the center of the country on Tuesday.

Two women were killed and more than 90 people were injured on Tuesday after rockets, fired from the Gaza Strip, slammed into a number of homes in Ashkelon and Ashdod. Four of the injured were members of the same family.

One of the women was in her 80s and the other was in her 60s. One of the women was identified as Soumya Santhosh, an Indian national who worked as a caregiver for an elderly woman in Ashkelon. Santhosh was killed in the strike while the elderly woman sustained serious injuries.

The four family members were evacuated to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center. Authorities said that the 40-year-old father was in moderate-to-serious condition suffering from injuries to his head. The mother, 39, was in moderate condition and the children suffered from light injuries.

Of those injured on Tuesday, five were children, 26 were in light condition, 13 were suffering from anxiety, one person was moderately injured and two other people were seriously injured.

Under orders from the IDF Home Front Command, local councils within a 40-kilometer radius of the Gaza Strip shut schools on Tuesday and banned large public gatherings. Under the restrictions, only 10 people can gather outside and 50 inside, as long as there is a bomb shelter nearby that can accommodate all participants.

Residents of Ashkelon were asked by Home Front Command on Tuesday afternoon to remain in bomb shelters until further notice.

The municipalities of Rishon Lezion, Holon, Bat Yam, Rehovot, Lod and Ness Ziona also decided to cancel studies for Tuesday.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the rocket fire saying that it was “in response to [Israeli] crimes and aggression against the holy city and harassment of our people in Sheikh Jarrah and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and this is a message that the enemy should understand well.”

The IDF closed a number of roads near the Gaza border and instructed farmers to stop all work near the border on Monday afternoon. Additionally, train traffic between Ashkelon and Beersheba and to Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim was temporarily halted on Monday afternoon by order of security officials.

In the center of the country, restrictions were also placed on large gatherings due to concerns that Hamas and other terrorist groups would fire rocket barrages on Tuesday in the direction of Tel Aviv.

Due to the fears, the Tel Aviv Municipality opened bomb shelters late Monday night. The cities of Givatayim, Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak made similar announcements.

Tel Aviv added that people should not enter the bomb shelters unless there was an active order to do so. If a siren sounded, the municipality said, all residents should enter the bomb shelter closest to them.

Schools will operate according to Home Front Command regulations, the announcement said.

Check Also

Turkey tells Syrian opposition forces to increase military readiness

The timing and extent of the anticipated operation against Syrian Kurdish forces are still uncertain …