Netanyahu to Obama and Merkel: Israel will accept cease-fire if Gaza rockets stop; more than 460 rockets have landed in Israeli territory, 33 of them in built-up areas, since Operation Pillar of Defense began; Iron Dome system has shot down 243 rockets, with 88% success rate.
As Operation Pillar of Defense entered its fifth day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke over the weekend with U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying he had told both that he is prepared for a comprehensive cease-fire if the rocket fire from Gaza will stop.
Jerusalem residents received their first taste of rocket warnings over the weekend as terror groups fired more missiles on the south and at Tel Aviv, and the Israel Defense Forces continued to prepare for a possible ground invasion as Pillar of Defense ended its fourth day.
After a rocket was fired at the Tel Aviv area on Friday, the army deployed a fifth, new, Iron Dome antimissile battery in the region on Saturday morning. Within two hours, the system considered more advanced than the previous four because of its more sophisticated radar system intercepted a Fajr-5 missile fired at the city.
More than 60 rockets were fired at Israel on Saturday. While many of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, including rockets aimed at Sderot, Netivot, Ashdod, and Be’er Sheva, a 10-story building was hit in Ashdod at midday and a car was damaged during a barrage of rockets on that city.
12:14 A.M. Rocket alert sounds in Ashdod (Haaretz)
11:43 A.M. Palestinian killed as IAF resumes attacks on Gaza (Haaretz)
11:43 A.M. Israeli seriously wounded in rocket attack on Sha’ar Hanegev (Haaretz)
11:26 A.M. Rocket alert sounds in Sdot Negev and Sha’ar Hanegev (Israeli Radio)
11:15 A.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins cabinet meeting in Jerusalem by saying that Israel is suffering a heavy price at the hands of Hamas, and was “prepared to significantly expand the operation.”
Netanyahu does not discuss efforts toward reaching a cease-fire. He mentions his conversation with various international leaders over the weekend, adding that he had stressed to them that Israel is making an effort to prevent harming innocent civilians. (Barak Ravid)
10:54 A.M. Rocket strikes house in Ashkelon, causing severe damage to building; no immediate word of injuries (Haaretz)
10:50 A.M. Car catches fire in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv, after hit by shrapnel from Iron Dome rocket interception (Haaretz)
10:42 A.M. Rocket alert sounds on Ashkelon beach (Haaretz)
10:36 A.M. Two rockets fired at Tel Aviv area; at least one intercepted by Iron Dome missile system (Haaretz)
10:31 A.M. Rocket alert sounds in Tel Aviv, Holon, and Bat Yam
10:27 A.M. Rocket alerts sounds in Ashdod and Ashkelon beach
10:00 A.M. Four rockets fired at Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, strike open areas. Rocket alerts sounded in Be’er Tuvia, Ashdod, Kiryat Malkhi.
9:58 A.M. Rocket alert sounds in Eshkol region (Israel Radio)
9:06 A.M. Rocket alert sounds in Ashkelon (Israel Radio)
8:35 A.M. Two Israelis lightly wounded from shrapnel after rocket hits building in Ashkelon. Five people treated for shock.
8:26 A.M. Iron Dome intercepts two rockets over Ashkelon
8:26 A.M. Two rockets strike open field in Eshkol
8:25 A.M. Rocket hits home in Ashkelon, another rocket strikes car, causing damage; another rocket hits high wire in city.
8:17 A.M. Rocket alert sounded in Ashkelon (Army Radio)
7:37 A.M. Since Operation Pillar of Defense began, 52 Palestinians have been killed, 9 on Saturday night alone, and 400 wounded; A third of the rockets fired from Gaza have been intercepted by Iron Dome missile defense system (Haaretz)
7:28 A.M. Rocket falls in open area in the Gaza envelope in Israel’s south, for the first time on Sunday, no damage or casualties reported (Haaretz)
03:53 A.M. Palestinian media reports two children killed in an IAF strike in the Beit Lahiya area in Gaza (Haaretz)