After Palestinian factions declared a ceasefire Thursday, saying they would stop firing homemade shells if Israeli forces ceased its airstrikes, Israeli forces killed ten Palestinians in airstrikes, including a young child. The Palestinian resistance groups declared Saturday that since Israeli forces refused the ceasefire, they would begin firing shells toward Israel again.Israeli authorities say that 40 shells were fired into Israel on Saturday, causing no injuries, although the head of the Eshkol Regional Council, Haim Yalin, told the Jerusalem Post that his town is in an ’emergency situation’, and that the shelling is making residents very nervous. Three people in Ashkelon were brought to the hospital complaining of ‘shock’.
Inside Gaza, local hospital officials have reported that dozens of injured Palestinians, over half of whom are children, have been brought in with injuries from the Israeli airstrikes that continued through Saturday.
The ‘Iron Dome’ anti-rocket defense system has been deployed for the first time over the last few days. Israeli officials say that it has intercepted eight shells fired from Gaza.
The homemade shells fired by the Palestinian resistance are metal tubes with dynamite or C4 explosive stuffed inside. It is impossible to aim these shells, and they have no exploding tips or propulsion system. They do not explode when they land, so the damage they cause is usually from the impact of the metal rod on the spot where it lands.
One such shell, fired early Thursday prior to the ceasefire, hit an Israeli school bus, hospitalizing one teenager with critical injuries and also injuring the schoolbus driver. Since Wednesday, 18 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes, and over 50 have been wounded.