Suspected Palestinian militants launched at least 36 rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, August 8, leaving at least six Israelis wounded in the town of Sderot (Southern district). Of the 36 rockets fired, at least four exploded in Sderot and two others were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The barrage comes after Israeli tank fire targeted Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, August 7, killing two Hamas militants, following gunfire from Gaza in the direction of civilian engineering vehicles on the other side of the border in Israel.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening (local time), wounding at least three Palestinians, in retaliation to the initial volley of eight rockets fired from Gaza. Further cross-border fire between the IDF and suspected Hamas militants in Gaza is possible in the coming hours. Additional clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters are possible over the Israel-Gaza border in the coming weeks.
The exchange of fire comes as a senior Hamas representative said on August 8 that UN- and Egyptian-brokered negotiations between Israel and Hamas, aimed at easing tensions between the sides along the Israel-Gaza border, were in "advanced stages."
In general, rocket fire and strikes between Israel and the Gaza Strip have intensified since early December 2017. Hundreds of rockets and mortars have been fired from the Gaza Strip, often followed by retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.
Individuals present in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments to the situation. Due to the underlying terrorist threat, travelers in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are advised to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.