In contrast to the Israeli attack on Gaza, which escalated on Tuesday and has resulted in 79 Palestinians killed and over 500 injured, including entire families wiped out while sleeping in their homes; the Israeli government has claimed that Palestinian fighters fired 117 shells toward Israel in the same time period, causing no deaths or injuries.Some of the shells from Gaza appear to be aimed at Israel’s cities and a nuclear reactor.
Three shells were also fired at Israel from the village of al-Arja, south of the Egyptian city of Rafah, on Wednesday evening, according to Egyptian officials.
These shells are crude constructions amounting to little more than tubes with dynamite placed inside of them, which are then fired blindly, without any possibility of aiming them. No injuries or damage have been reported from the shells.
At least one of the homemade shells allegedly hit the ground near Tel Aviv, and another in Hadera, about 100 km away from Gaza, which shows a longer range than previous shells were capable of.
On Wednesday, following a statement by Khaled Meshaal of Hamas saying that the current Israeli government is extreme, and it is up to Israelis to change their government to end the assault on Gaza, the Israeli economy minister Naftali Bennett told Al Jazeera news agency, “Meshaal was talking nonsense as usual,” adding: “We are going to continue the pressure and step up our operation.”
Also Wednesday, the Israeli military claims to have killed five Palestinian fighters who tried to attack the Israeli military base in Zikim, in southern Israel, by swimming from Gaza and approaching the base from the water. Israeli soldiers bombed the Palestinian fighters on the beach, killing all five.
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attempt to infiltrate and attack the military base.