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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Israel Strikes Back Against Gaza as Citizens Endure Missiles

A volley of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip was intercepted by the Iron Dome system near the Israeli town of Ashdod.

A volley of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip was intercepted by the Iron Dome system near the Israeli town of Ashdod.
Photo Credit: Flash90

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Many Militant Groups Claim Responsibility for Rocket Attackss

Several militants groups have claimed responsibility for firing rockets into southern Israel on Monday, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, while the rocket count is up to 20. It appears that many are eager to be counted among today’s “heroes.”

Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for firing Grad missiles at Beer Sheva, Ashkelon and Ashdod on Monday morning.

The PRC’s military wing, the Nasser Saladin Brigades, said they had launched projectiles at Netivot, Ashkelon, Sderot and Beeri, while the PFLP’s armed wing, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, said it had fired two projectiles at Israeli towns.
The al-Ahrar movement claimed that its military wing, the al-Ansar Brigades, fired two homemade projectiles at southern Israel.

A military group called Jaysh al-Umma, army of the nation, said its’ fighters had fired two 107 mm rockets at Israeli towns.

Terrorists in Gaza fired 17 rockets at major Israeli population centers on Monday morning, primarily at Beersheba and Ashdod.  Seven of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, one exploded outside a kindergarten.

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Young Kibbutz girls Kibbutz examine the shards on the wall by a qassam rocket.

Young Kibbutz girls Kibbutz examine the shards on the wall by a qassam rocket.

The Israeli Air Force launched nine anti-terror strikes in Gaza overnight and into Monday morning, targeting Gaza operatives continuing to fire missiles at civilian targets in Israel’s south.  The Gaza-based Islamic Jihad has stated it is not considering a ceasefire and will continue to attempt to kill Israelis, as Israel has refused to agree to cease targeting terror leaders, according to Channel 2 news.

Islamic Jihad also reported that the IDF succeeded in neutralizing 3 more terrorists during the night in operations targeting weapons storage facilities and four rocket-launching sites.

Of the 17 rockets fired into Israel, 6 were launched at Ashdod, with 5 being intercepted by the Iron Dome, the 6th falling in an open area.  Two Grad missiles landed north of Beersheba and two were fired at Gan Yavneh.  One rocket exploded outside a kindergarten in Eshkol, bringing the 4-day total to approximately 170.

Twenty terrorists have been killed in ongoing operations.

122mm Grad missiles have a range of 25 miles (40 kilometers), enabling them to reach major Israeli cities such as Ashdod, Sderot, Ofakim, Gedera, Ashkelon, Rehovot, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Gan Yavne, Netivot and Beersheba, all of which experienced another day of school cancellation by the Home Front Command.  Approximately 1 million Israelis – over 13% of the total national population – are estimated to be in the affected vicinities.  Israelis in those areas are being asked to stay close to reinforced shelters, and to stay indoors as much as possible.

The IDF posted video on YouTube of citizens in shelters as the Iron Dome missile defense system deployed against a missile launched at Beersheba.

On a tour of southern Israel on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised citizens that “we will continue to hit whoever plans to attack citizens of the State of Israel,” adding that home front defense would also be enhanced. Speaking at a ceremony welcoming Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo di Paola to Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that “those who attack our civilians will be punished,” and vowed that “the IDF will continue to protect Israeli citizens and will strike all those who rise to attack us.”  IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz postponed a trip this week to the US due to the situation.

Targeted missile launches against Israeli civilians began Friday after an IAF air strike killed two Arab terror leaders from the Popular Resistance Committee who were planning an attack on Israel via the border with Egypt – senior terror leader Zuhir Mussah Ahmed Kaisi and accomplice Mahmoud Ahmed Mahmoud Hanani.

According to the IDF, terrorist retaliatory attacks are being launched from Beit Lahiya, Jabaliya, Rafah, Gaza City, and El-Bureij.

However, an IDF spokesperson stated that injury and damage have been sustained since attacks began Friday.  On March 11, one rocket hit a school in Beersheba and another hit a parked car when the city’s Iron Dome battery malfunctioned.  Fifteen people were treated for shock, with heavy damage sustained to buildings and vehicles in the vicinity.  A chicken farm in the Ashkelon Regional Council was also heavily damaged.  On March 10, a horse was killed and a home near Ashdod damaged by direct rocket fire.  On March 9, four people were wounded, one severely.

Despite ongoing rocket attacks, the Erez Crossing from Israel into Gaza remains open for passengers and employees of international organizations, according to the IDF, with the Kerem Shalom crossing remaining open for the delivery of products into Gaza.

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About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


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2 Responses to “Israel Strikes Back Against Gaza as Citizens Endure Missiles”

  1. Yitzhak Simcha HaLevi says:

    Shalom, Shalom, dear friends. Today I reach out to each of you with the message of truth. My city, Be’er Sheva, and many other cities are being bombed as we speak. This latest round of bombing began on Shushan Purim, this past Friday. As of today 3:30 pm, Monday afternoon, over 200 missiles have been launched from Gaza into Israel. Into my city. Into my community, aimed for only 1 reason: to kill us. These bombs have hit schools, homes, community centers, shuls, and property.

    Can you imagine hearing a warning siren? Do you know that we have only between 15 – 30 seconds to attempt to gather ourselves, our children, our elderly, and our families into a bomb shelter? Do you know that these missiles can smash through the roof of our homes, through 2 concrete walls? They have/can also smash lives. Our lives and the lives we hold so precious of those whom we love.

    The State of Israel is responding to these attacks on civilians, to me, with deadly force, as they should. We demand our government protects the lives of all people in our country. Unfortunately, some media is only telling the story of how our government is ‘attacking’ and not protecting our people. Dear friends, I am asking each of you to challenge any articles or interviews you can. Respond to these lies and tell them the truth. Write a letter to the editor, post a comment, call into and speak with a reporter & volunteer to be interviewed. ISRAEL MUST DEFEND ALL HER PEOPLE!

    I am also asking you to write a note, take a petition and send it to the Israeli Embassy in your area: Tell them, you also believe that Israel has the right to defend all her people from terrorists.

    Thank you.

  2. Marty Janner says:

    The unfortunate thing is that these people responsible for these rockets are creating a situation where the innocent’s in Gaza are made to suffer as a result! As an individual whom would stahd up for the rights of the Palestinians! My judgement now is that these groups are now usurping any hope for a peaceful resolution!

    I now, can fully understand Israel’s position! They are fightihg for their right to exist! Whatever results from actions of this nature, can only bring horror to all Gazans! As a people whom, have their Quaran as their good book, would never condone the rockets. being used!

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