The IDF reports that terror leader Zuhir al-Qaisi- killed in Gaza earlier today was planning a mega-attack that could have resulted in numerous casualties. The planned multipronged terror strike was to originate from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
"The killed terror chief, who headed the Popular Resistance Committees group and served as its political chief, was involved in the lethal Egypt border attack on August 18, 2011 that left eight Israelis dead.
Al-Qaisi was also involved in a terror attack at the Nahal Oz fuel terminal on the Gaza-Israel border in 2008 and in ongoing rocket fire on Israeli communities
According to Palestinian reports, the second fatality in Friday's IDF strike was Ahmad al-Khanini, a senior PRC terrorist freed last year in the framework of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap."
In response, communities in Southern Israel were besieged with neqarly 40 rockets in 24 hours, forcing nearly half a million israelis into shelters. Israel's Iron Dome System has intercepted one of three rockets aimed at Ashdod and four of four rockets aimed at Be’ersheba–two cities with a population over 200,000 each.
The barage of rockets has continued throughout the night. From the IDF blog
■ Over the past 24 hours, over 45 rockets have hit communities in southern Israel - injuring four people, one severely, one moderately and two lightly.
■ The Iron Dome active missile defense system has intercepted over 10 Grad rockets - which were fired at the cities of Be’er Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon, together home to over 520,000 people.
■ Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted two weapon manufacturing facilities and two rocket launching sites in the northern Gaza Strip, a weapon manufacturing facility in the central Gaza Strip and a terror activity site in the southern Gaza Strip.
■ In addition, IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist in the central Gaza Strip and six additional terrorist squads who were in the final stages of preparing to fire rockets at Israel from separate locations in the northern and the central Gaza Strip. Direct hits were identified.
The targeting is in direct response to the rocket fire at Israeli communities in southern Israel.
According to the JPost
"One hundred rockets - Kassams and the longer-range Grads - were fired by midday Saturday at civilian regions. Of those, the Iron Dome anti-rocket system intercepted 25 projectiles heading directly into city centers in Ashdod, Beersheba and Ashkelon. Seventy-five rockets exploded in Israeli territory, most of them in open fields. The barrage came after the IAF foiled a major terror attack, killing the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi.
Eight people were injured on Friday evening. In the Eshkol Regional Council, a 40-year-old man was seriously injured from rocket shrapnel, a second man was moderately injured by shrapnel in his stomach, and a third was lightly injured."