JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas claimed responsibility for three rockets fired at Dimona in southern Israel, saying the terror group was aiming for the city’s nuclear reactor.
The rockets were fired late on Wednesday afternoon; two of the rockets landed in open areas and one was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
More than 225 rockets have been fired at Israel since the start of Operation Protective Edge on Monday night. At least 40 rockets have been intercepted by Iron Dome. Israel’s military targeted more than 500 “terror sites” in Gaza since the beginning of the operation, including 80 rocket launchers over one hour on Wednesday evening. Some 53 Gazans have been killed and 450 injured in the operation as of Wednesday evening, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
Several of the rockets fired at Israel on Wednesday caused property damage. A rocket fired at the Shaar Hanegev municipality in the northwestern Negev scored a direct hit on a home. The home was empty since the family was away on vacation, according to reports. Other rockets have damaged electric wiring and roads, and one rocket landed next to a kindergarten.
Also on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with world leaders to brief them on the operation. Netanyahu spoke with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, according to a statement issued from his office. He is due to speak with other world leaders in the coming days, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Hamas in videos broadcast on Al Aksa TV threatened to again commit suicide bombings in Israeli cities. It also called on Israel to “count its coffins.”
“Zionists, wait and see terror attacks, stabbing everywhere. Wait for suicide attacks on every bus, café and street. Wait for the rage and for revenge for Gaza, wait for the flames of the West Bank, inside you,” the videos said.
The videos also warned that Hamas rockets have the “ability to reach places you thought were safe” and that “they will reach you soon.”