Rocket seriously injures Israeli teen in Ashkelon; dual citizens leave Gaza


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli teenager was seriously injured by a rocket fired from Gaza that landed in Ashkelon.

Another Israeli man was wounded in the rocket strike on Sunday afternoon in a residential area of the southern Israeli city.

“Hamas has chosen to attack our cities with massive and indiscriminate rocket fire,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the beginning of the regular Cabinet meeting. “I said from the outset that we would respond in strength against this criminal firing at our citizens and this is what we are doing.”

Early Sunday morning, four Israeli Navy commandos were injured in a ground battle on a beach near Gaza City, where they destroyed long-range rockets and its launcher, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Three Hamas fighters reportedly were killed in the clash.

Also Sunday morning, nearly 700 Palestinians with foreign passports, including dozens of dual Palestinian-Americans, left Gaza for Israel. From there they will travel to their other home locations.

Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge early on July 8, more than 800 rockets have been fired from Gaza on southern, central and northern Israel, according to the IDF. Some 147 rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The IDF said its forces have struck 1,320 of what it calls “terror targets” across Gaza, including 735 concealed rocket launchers, 64 training bases and militant compounds, 58 weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, 32 Hamas leadership facilities, 29 communications infrastructures and additional sites used for terrorist activities.

Cities throughout northern Israel on Sunday checked and opened public bomb shelters following two salvos of rockets fired from Lebanon since the start of Protective Edge.

Also Sunday, the Temple Mount was closed to visitors after Palestinians rioted, throwing rocks and explosives at Israeli policemen. Two officers were injured in the unrest.

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