- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 16, 2014

Israeli forces unleashed the nation’s Iron Dome defense system to shoot down five rockets fired from the Gaza Strip — and then followed with a “precise, swift” attack of their own against suspected Palestinian aggressors, wounding at least five.

The rockets fired by Gaza militants struck spots at and near Ashkelon late Wednesday, Israeli Defense Force officials said, in The Times of Israel. Nobody was injured, and damage was minimal. But in response, the IDF kicked off strikes of its own, targeting four spots in northern Gaza.

Among the targets: A hidden rocket launcher, a weapons storage site and a weapons production plant. The strikes were successful, said an IDF spokesman.

“The IDF response was precise, swift and efficient in eliminating terror capabilities that only exist in order to terrorize, kill and maim Israelis,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, in a statement to The Times of Israel.

The colonel also provided video that showed the Iron Dome intercepting the rockets.

Ynet News, meanwhile, reported that Palestinian medical responders said a woman and four children were injured in the rocket strikes.

This is the second attack from the Gaza Strip this week. On Monday, two rockets were fired from the locale at the western portion of Negev — around the same time as nearby funeral services for former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon were wrapping. The rockets hit an open area, and nobody was injured, Israeli officials reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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