Over 150 terrorist rockets landed in Israeli Neighborhoods between Saturday and Wednesday when Operation Pillar of Defense began. Since the defensive action was initiated by the IDF approximately 24 hours ago another 200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

One of those rockets  hit a building in launched Kiryat Malachi, a community of 20,000 Israelis including many recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia. The rocket killed three people and wounded others including children. While it has not been confirmed yet, I have been informed by buddy in Israel that there has been a fourth death-a baby.

A large group of people tried to take refuge from the incoming rockets in an old four-story  building in the community which received a direct hit from a Grad rocket. The three initial deaths included a married couple in their 30s and an individual in his 20s.  At this hour rescue teams are still trying to remove victims of the attack from the rubble.

This Baby Was Wounded in Today’s Attack

The three killed were a married couple in their 30s, and an individual in his 20s. Additionally:

A house in Ashdod and a school in Ofakim near Beersheba also sustained damage from rockets on Thursday morning. Rockets also landed in the Eshkol Regional Council area, Gan Yavne and Ashkelon.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office stated the Iron Dome rocket defense system has successfully intercepted 48 rockets since the operation began.

Much of southern Israel is in the range of Hamas rockets (as the northern part of the country is subject to Hezbollah attacks)

Another Grad rocket was fired at Kiryat Malachi at about 10:30 AM Israel time. Reports said that an Iron Dome missile blasted the rocket in the air above the city, before it could land and explode. Police urged residents to remain indoors and under cover, even in the event that an Iron Dome missile prevents an attack, because shrapnel from the destroyed missile falling to the ground could still injure people. At least one person in Ashdod was injured when they were struck by shrapnel from a rocket that was destroyed by an Iron Dome missile.

This morning, the IDF dispersed leaflets above several locations in the Gaza Strip, warning local residents to stay away from Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

The leaflets written in Arabic read:

“Important announcement for the residents of the Gaza Strip:

For your own safety, take responsibility for yourselves and avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives and facilities and those of other terror organizations that pose a risk to your safety.

Hamas is once again dragging the region to violence and bloodshed. The IDF is determined to defend the residents of the State of Israel. This announcement is valid until quiet is restored to the region.

Israel Defense Forces Command.”

Israel continues to expand its operation in an attempt to destroy the terrorist operations. Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has targeted 156 terror sites in the Gaza Strip, including the rocket-making warehouse building shown in this video (if you cannot see video click here)

The mainstream media will ignore the hundreds of terrorist rocket attacks, or will call today’s deaths “tit for tat” violence.  But of this you can be sure, Israel’s only goal for this mission is to stop the attacks on its civilians.  The terrorists goal to get the Jews to vacate the entire land (including the land inside the 1949 armistice lines). Their method is terror and their strength comes from the appeasement of the EU and the United States (since 2009).

Check back on The Lid during the day for updates and more breaking news about Operation Pillar of Defense.