Man in Israel seriously injured in rocket explosion near Ashdod


(JTA) – A rocket hit an oil truck near the coastal Israeli city of Ashdod, setting off an explosion and seriously wounding a man.

At least eight Palestinians, including a 10-year-old girl, were killed overnight Friday in airstrikes, Palestinian medical officials said.

The explosion near Ashdod was the result of a volley of eight rockets launched from Gaza on Friday at Israel’s southern coastal plain. The man sustained life-threatening injuries to his legs from the explosion, which happened near a gas station, Army Radio reported. Another two people were injured from shrapnel.

Earlier on Friday, militants in Lebanon fired mortar rounds into Israel as it entered the fourth day of its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The rounds exploded near Metula, at the northern tip of the Galilee, but resulted in no casualties and no damage to property, Army Radio reported. It was the first time since the launch of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza that Israel was targeted from the north.

The Israel Defense Forces fired back into Lebanon, hitting an area close to the Lebanese village of Hatzbiyah. Lebanese media reported that blood was found at the site from which the mortars were launched into Israel, suggesting casualties from the Israeli response.

Also on Friday, projectile detection systems set off alarm sirens in Haifa for the first time since the start of the Gaza campaign. No hits were detected. Haifa opened its shelters on Wednesday after Hamas fired rockets at Zichron Yakov, a Haifa suburb.

A woman in her 70s collapsed and died on Friday of heart failure while running to a shelter in Wadi Nisnas, a neighborhood in downtown Haifa with Jewish and Arab residents.

So far, approximately 350 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, according to the IDF, which said it intercepted 90 percent of those deemed serious threats to populated areas with the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The Israel Air Force has carried out approximately 1,000 strikes in Gaza during the operation. Palestinian officials said the strikes resulted in the deaths of close to 100 of Palestinians, including civilians.

Of the eight killed overnight, five were members of a single family in the southern city of Rafah, and one was a 10-year-old girl in Rafah, The New York Times reported.

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