The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has begun carrying out retaliatory strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday, March 25, after a rocket fired from Gaza hit a home in Mishmeret (Central district) early (local time) on Monday, wounding seven people. Tel Aviv and Israeli cities and local councils near the Israeli-Gazan border, notably including Ashkelon, have opened bomb shelters for residents to take shelter in the event of an armed Gazan response to the Israeli strikes. Train service from Ashkelon to Sderot has been suspended amid the heightened cross-border tensions, with the Ofakim, Netivot, and Sderot stations closed until further notice. The IDF has instructed military reservists to be prepared to be called to duty if the situation escalates.
Further IDF airstrikes and indirect fire targeting suspected Gazan militant positions are to be expected over the coming hours. Additional cross-border Gazan rocket attacks on central and southern Israel are also possible over the near term.
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 and seek immediate shelter in the event of a rocket attack.
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.
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