At least 28 mortar shells were fired from Gaza on southern Israel, including one that exploded in the yard of a kindergarten shortly before students were set to arrive.
Most of the shells fired in three barrages on Tuesday morning were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Code Red warning sirens were heard throughout communities in southern Israel when the shells were fired.
It was the largest number of projectiles fired on Israel from the coastal strip since the 2014 Gaza war.
Later on Tuesday afternoon the Code Red warning system activated again in several communities.
The attack from Gaza reportedly has been linked to the death of three Islamic Jihad operatives who were killed when the Israeli military fired on a Hamas outpost in response to a bomb placed near the border fence between Israel and Gaza in an effort to blow up Israeli patrols.
The Al-Quds Brigades, the military arm of the Islamic Jihad terror group, vowed revenge. “We will not relent in our duty towards the blood of those killed and know how we’ll react to this serious escalation,” the group said in a statement.
The IDF said in a statement that it was “operating in the Gaza Strip” in response to the shelling, though it did not give details.
This story "Israeli Kindergarten Yard Hit By Gaza Mortar Fire" was written by JTA.