Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Ofakim, Gan Yavne and the Eshkol farm district were subjected to Jihad Islami volleys of more than 35 missiles Saturday, Oct. 29, in retaliation for the loss of a senior five-man missile team in an Israeli air force strike a few hours earlier. An Israeli was killed when his home took a direct hit. Eight more were injured and in Ashdod a fire was started between high-rise buildings. Some 45 shock victims were treated. The damage was extensive.
Jihad Islami was shown firing 20 rounds in rapid succession from a Grad multiple rocket launcher mounted on a small truck which then drove off at speed. The same Russian-made multiple launchers were in common use with the Libyan rebels in the last weeks of the battle for Sirte.
Israel's Homeland Defense commander in the South warned that the escalation is just beginning. The police have raised national security preparedness to one below the highest level.
DEBKAfile's military sources report that it took the IDF five hours from the first launch of Jihad Islami's massive missile offensive Saturday to place the Iron Dome anti-missile system in position and deploy the air force against the terrorists firing from Gaza.