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At least 2 killed and several others wounded as rockets from Gaza rain down on Israel (VIDEOS)

At least 2 killed and several others wounded as rockets from Gaza rain down on Israel (VIDEOS)
Two women have been killed and several other people have sustained injuries as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip continue to land in nearby Israeli communities.

The two fatalities occurred after a direct rocket hit on a home in the southern city of Ashkelon. One person was seriously wounded by the projectile and five others were lightly wounded, Israeli media reported, citing a paramedic at the scene. 

Videos posted to social media purportedly show the aftermath of the ongoing barrage, including cars and buildings that were set ablaze.

Earlier, an empty school and another building were hit in Ashkelon. Several other rockets reportedly caused damage in Ashdod. At least three people suffered minor injuries, including a 12-year-old who was wounded by shrapnel in Ashkelon.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told residents of Ashkelon to find shelter while the rocket fire continues to be directed at the city. The IDF ordered schools closed in Israeli communities near Gaza and limited indoor and outdoor gatherings. Businesses are only allowed to remain open if they are located near bomb shelters.

Over 200 rockets have reportedly been fired from Gaza, an enclave controlled by the Hamas militant group, since Monday evening, although most of the projectiles caused no casualties. An earlier wave of rockets left 6 civilians wounded after an apartment building was hit in Ashkelon. Another Israeli was “lightly injured” in an attack involving an anti-tank missile, the IDF said. 

The Islamic Jihad militant group reportedly took responsibility for firing the anti-tank missile, while Hamas said it was behind several rocket strikes. 

Also on rt.com Israel bombs 130 Gaza targets in retaliation for 200 Hamas rockets, after police clash with worshipers in Jerusalem (VIDEOS)

The IDF responded with retaliatory strikes, claiming to have hit 130 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza overnight. The attack allegedly killed 15 combatants and destroyed facilities and weapons manufacturing sites used by militants. In follow-up strikes, the IDF said that it had killed several Islamic Jihad commanders, including a senior rocket official.

According to media reports, a spokesperson for Islamic Jihad confirmed that three of its military commanders had been killed in Israeli attacks, vowing that “the response to their assassination will be harsh.”

Speaking on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would “step up” strikes on Hamas. Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a similar warning, vowing to strike a decisive blow against militants in Gaza. “For every day of attacks on Israeli citizens, we’ll take the terror organizations back years. We will not stop until calm returns,” he said.

The violence follows days of unrest over planned forced evictions of Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Israel’s intention to remove the families and replace them with Jewish settlers has sparked protests that have led to bloody clashes with Israeli security forces. According to the Red Crescent, more than 330 Palestinians were wounded on Monday after police raided Al-Aqsa mosque, an Islamic holy site located on the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram esh-Sharif.

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