Israeli families take cover as siren sounds during rocket attack fired by Palestinians militants from Gaza in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 11, 2014. One Israeli child cowering from the bombs, was reported to have asked, “Why does Hamas hate me?”
Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has battled Israel numerous times. However, recent fire from Lebanon has been blamed on radical Palestinian factions in the area and Hezbollah has not been involved in the ongoing offensive. It has largely refrained from engaging Israel since a monthlong war in 2006 when it fired thousands of rockets into Israel and was pummeled by Israeli airstrikes in response.
The attack came as Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station and set it on fire Friday in southern Israel. [NOTE: Lebanon is north of Israel, while Gaza is along Israel's Southwest border.]
Gaza militants already have fired more than 550 rockets against Israel in the four-day offensive. Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system has intercepted most of those aimed at major cities but some have slipped through.
Frequent air raid sirens sounded across Israel on Friday, including for the first time in the northern city of Haifa. Israel has shot down at least 110 incoming rockets thus far.
Israel launched the Gaza offensive to stop incessant rocket fire against it. The Jerusalem Post, citing a senior Israeli security source reports that the Israeli Defense Forces has so far struck 1,100 targets belonging to Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip since the start of the operation launched Monday to end rocket attacks from Gaza , and 210 targets over the past 24 hours.
Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said the military was doing its utmost to prevent civilian casualties, calling inhabitants ahead of time to warn of an imminent attack. He said Israeli forces also fire “non-explosive munitions” at roofs as a warning and looks for people to leave before destroying a structure. Meanwhile the terrorists from the north as well as the south routinely use civilians as human shields.
Meanwhile President Obama tells both sides to show restraint, like the clueless teacher who tells the bully and the kid the bully just punched, “You two stop fighting!”
Sources: FoxNews.com, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz.com.