Two long-range Fajr-5 missiles exploded Friday, Nov. 16 on open ground in and around Tel Aviv without causing casualties or damage. Warning sirens sounded first. Residents told to open bomb shelters. Three civilians were injured in the Eshkol district in the continuous Palestinian rocket fire raking southern towns and villages from early Friday morning. Iron Dome intercepted some missiles before they hit Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon in salvoes. Israeli ground forces continue to build up on the Gaza border awaiting government orders to go in.
debkafile reported earflier Friday: As Hamas government officials greeted Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil on his arrival for a short visit to the Gaza Strip, Friday morning, Nov. 16, Palestinian rocket crews stepped up their barrage against Israel. After Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acceded to Cairo’s request to suspend military action for the visit, air strikes were resumed over northern Gaza to counter Palestinians fire across the South: Dozens of rockets exploded in Beersheba, Ashdod, Hof Ashkelon, Ashkelon, Shear Hanegev, Ofakim, Sderot, Eshkol and Kiryat Malachi. There were several panic victims and direct hits to houses.
Thursday night, long-range Fajr rockets exploded in Greater Tel Aviv region, Israel’s urban and commercial heartland (3 million population) – two landing near Bat Yam or the sea and one or two between Rishon Lezion and Palmachim.
IDF armored, artillery and mechanized infantry units continued to stream to the Gaza border Thursday and Friday, gathering at jumping-off positions for crossing into the enclave in the next stage of the operation. Reservists are reporting for duty on the orders the defense minister issued for 30,000 call-ups. They are reporting at schools in various towns which were converted to registration stations.
The IDF is rushing forward the completion of the fifth Iron Dome battery after the first four stopped some 150 incoming rockets in the last 48 hours.
debkafile: Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and the high IDF command are pushing for the ground operation, Stage B of the Pillar of Cloud operation, to start without delay. The prime minister and defense minister prefer to wait.
Full article: Missile siren in Jerusalem after Gaza rockets in Tel Aviv area (DEBKAfile)