A near constant sound of explosions coming from Gaza is echoing throughout Ashdod, a city some 35 kilometers (21 miles) north of the enclave.
The strikes sound as if a massive thunderstorm was unfolding nearby, and the loud bangs are causing vibrations that can be felt throughout Ashdod.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement issued about two hours ago that it had attacked 130 Hamas targets in Gaza with airstrikes in the preceding three hours.
“Throughout the last 24 hours, Air Force planes have been carrying out extensive attacks along the length and breadth of the Gaza Strip, wreaking havoc on Hamas terrorists,” the IDF statement said at that time.
Since that statement, the strikes have continued and intensified. Flares light up above Gaza at regular intervals, and the darkness illuminated by bright orange lights.
As of 8:30 p.m. local time, the bombing appeared to be almost continuous, with numerous loud thuds heard every minute. While Gaza is often targeted by the IDF, the bombardment on Monday has been unusually heavy, both in its intensity and frequency.
At the same time, rockets continued to be fired from Gaza, albeit at much slower pace, and intercepted by Israel’s air defenses.