No sign of ceasefire as IAF hits 2 dozen Hamas targets; ongoing fire from Gaza

Late night barrage sends residents across Gaza border region running for cover; IDF says some 70 projectiles fired into Israel in most serious flare-up since 2014

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A picture taken from Gaza City on May 29, 2018, shows a smoke billowing in the background following an Israeli air strike on the Palestinian enclave. (AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX)

Source: Times of Israel, by By TAMAR PILEGGI and JUDAH ARI GROSS, May 29, 2018, 2:00am (Tel Aviv)

The Times of Israel is liveblogging Tuesday’s events as they unfold.

Fresh barrage fired toward Eshkol regions, many explosions reported

A fresh barrage of projectiles has been fired toward the Eshkol region near the Gaza border.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

IDF: Over 2 dozen Hamas positions bombed in second wave of reprisals

Israeli aircraft strike approximately 25 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, in a second bombardment following one on Tuesday afternoon, the army says.

The military says fighter jets, helicopters and other aircraft bombed a Hamas drone facility, rocket manufacturing plant, advanced weapons depot, military compounds, training camps and weapons factories.

This is the second round of strikes carried out by the IDF in response to mortar and rocket fire from Gaza. On Tuesday, Israeli aircraft targeted approximately 40 positions in the Gaza Strip belonging to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups.

Earlier, Hamas and the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad released a joint statement claiming responsibility for the dozens of rockets and mortar shells fired at southern Israel throughout the day.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for all violence emanating from the coastal enclave, as it has ruled Gaza since 2007.

“Hamas chooses to act against the interests of the residents of the Strip and, after it failed with its violent riots along the security fence, has decided to launch and to allow the launch of numerous projectiles at Israeli citizens,” the army says in a statement.

Earlier, IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said in a press conference that the army was prepared to intensify its retaliatory raids if Hamas and Islamic Jihad continued to launch projectiles at Israel, which they have.

“The IDF is prepared for a number of scenarios, is determined to act against terrorist operatives and will continue to fulfill its mission of defending the citizens of Israel,” the army says.

Sirens go off in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Hof Ashkelon area

Rocket sirens are wailing in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Hof Ashkelon areas.

The IDF says it is investigating the circumstances.

Rocket from Gaza lands in Israeli town, no injuries

A rocket fired from Gaza after midnight landed in the southern Israeli town of Netivot, Israel Radio reports.

There are no reports of injuries.

Walla news says Iron Dome intercepted the rocket, but shrapnel from the projectile fell within the town, landing next to a Magen David Adom station.

Rocket fragments hit town of Netivot, causing damage

Fragments of a rocket from the Gaza Strip that had apparently been intercepted by the Iron Dome land in a sports facility in the southern town of Netivot.

The shards of the projectile cause light damage to a number of structures, but no injuries.

One woman, who was close by at the time, is said to have suffered a panic attack.

A video, shared by Channel 10 news on social media, shows a cloud of smoke coming out of the area following the impact.

UN Security Council to meet on rocket, mortar fire at Israel

The UN Security Council will meet today (Wednesday) at the request of the United States to discuss Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel, diplomats say.

The United States circulated a draft statement yesterday calling on the council to condemn “in the strongest terms the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Palestinian militants in Gaza” toward Israel, according to a copy of the text seen by AFP.

— AFP

Sirens blare in central Negev, army says

Incoming rocket alarms are sounding in the town of Netivot and throughout the central Negev, the army says.

The sirens could be heard in the Sdot Negev and Bnei Shimon regions, according to the IDF.

The military says it is investigating what triggered the system. Earlier, rocket sirens in the town of Netivot were later found to have been a false alarm.

Iron Dome intercepts projectile fired from Gaza

An Iron Dome battery intercepts a projectile fired into Israel from Gaza just after midnight. There are no reports of injuries or damage.

The interception comes after sirens wail around the Gaza periphery and the IDF continues to hit sites in Gaza in response to the day-long attacks.

Rocket sirens triggered after ceasefire said to begin

Sirens blare in the Eshkol region of southern Israel, minutes after a reported midnight ceasefire was due to take effect.

Residents of the area say they heard explosions, but there are no immediate reports of impacts inside communities, a spokesperson for the Eshkol region says.

The army says it is investigating what triggered the sirens.

Sirens blare in Gaza periphery, minutes before reported ceasefire due to start

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in Israeli communities northeast of the Gaza Strip, the army says.

The alarms are heard in the Hof Ashkelon and Sha’ar Hanegev regions, according to the IDF.

A Sha’ar Hanegev spokesperson says there are no immediate reports of impacts or injuries, but the issue is still being investigated by the military.

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who have taken responsibility for the mortar and rocket fire, claimed that Egyptian had helped broker a ceasefire agreement to begin at midnight. A senior Israeli official denied that such a deal had been reached.

IDF confirms it is conducting renewed airstrikes in Gaza

The Israeli military confirms that it is carrying out additional strikes in the Gaza Strip, after targeting more than 35 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad positions earlier in the day.

“At this time, the IDF is operating in the Gaza Strip. The explosions being heard are coming from this activity,” the army says in a statement.

Palestinian media reports that the Israeli Air Force is conducting strikes in the northern Gaza Strip, including in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

The IDF says it will release more information about its strikes shortly.

For second time in minutes, sirens sound in Gaza periphery

Sirens are heard in Israeli communties outside the Gaza Strip, moments after alarms were triggered nearby.

The alarms are sounding in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev regions, the army says.

The military says it is investigating what triggered the sirens.

Sirens sound south of Ashkelon, ahead of reported ceasefire

Sirens blare in the Hof Ashkelon region of southern Israel, just north of the Gaza Strip, the army says.

The military says it is investigating what triggered the system.

There are no immediate reports of impacts.

Earlier, the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement was reached with Israel, due to begin at midnight. A senior Israeli official denied the report.

The latest alarm comes less than an hour after sirens sounded in the city of Ashkelon and in the central Negev in what the army later determined to have been a false alarm.

However, a number of mortar shells were found to have been fired at the Eshkol region, east of the Gaza Strip.

Report: Israeli jets strike targets in northern Gaza

Israel renewed its airstrikes on positions belonging to terror groups in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian media reports.

Israeli jets are said to be targeting a facility in northern Gaza.

The military refuses to comment on the reported strikes.

Israeli official denies Gaza ceasefire reports

A senior Israeli official denies reports of a ceasefire in Gaza to begin at midnight.

“The reports of a ceasefire agreement in Gaza are incorrect,” the official tells reporters on condition of anonymity.

Mortar shells from Gaza hit open field; Ashkelon siren appears to be false alarm

Multiple mortar shells reportedly strike an open field in the Eshkol region, after sirens blare throughout southern Israel, including the city of Ashkelon.

There are no reports of injuries or damage.

According to the Ashkelon municipality, the sirens in the city appear to have been a false alarm.

“There have been no reports of impacts and according to the assessment of security services, no rockets were fired at the city,” a spokesperson says.