Photo Credit: Courtesy, ashdod.net
M75 missile slammed into Ashdod home, crashing through ceiling into the balcony - but did not explode. Family was in apartment's shelter room and remained safe. July 21, 2014.

Hamas terrorists unleashed a fierce missile barrage on central and southern Israel at midday Monday, but the hand of God nevertheless intervened to protect Israelis from physical harm.

No physical injuries were reported but at least one home was damaged in the attack in Ashdod where an open miracle occurred. An M75 missile slammed into a home, crashing through the ceiling and landing on the floor of a balcony (see photo, courtesy of ashdod.net) — but it did not explode, greatly limiting the damage to the home. Family members remained safe in the apartment’s internal bomb shelter room, meanwhile; although they were traumatized by the incident, they were physically unharmed.

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Despite the terrorists’ efforts to remind the IDF that Gaza’s ability to wage war has yet to be impaired, the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system intercepted two M75 missiles over metro Tel Aviv and two others over the port city of Ashdod. The attack sent more than one million Israelis racing for bomb shelters across the southern and central regions. Heavy barrages were aimed at greater Ashkelon, Rehovot, Ashdod, the Gush Dan region including metro Tel Aviv, Bnei Brak and Ramat Gan, Rishon Lezion and Beit Shemesh, among other major population centers.

Barrages continued through the afternoon. A missile exploded in an open area on the outskirts of Rishon Lezion shortly before 1:00pm, igniting a fire but physically hurting no one. Three missiles intercepted over the coastal city of Ashkelon at approximately 1:30 pm. Five minutes later, three shorter-range Qassam rockets exploded in open areas in the Sdot Negev Regional Council district. No property damage was reported, and no one was physically injured.

On every radio talk show program, Israelis called in to express their firm resolve to endure, to get through the war and wait it out in their bomb shelters for however long it might take, as long as the IDF continued to persevere in its goal to “silence the rocket fire permanently this time and eliminate the tunnels.”

Meanwhile, outgoing President Shimon Peres told reporters Monday morning that it is essential that Israel continue Operation Protective Edge until the conflict is decisively won.

“We must win this war,” Peres said. “Hamas planned a massacre in Israel.”

The president’s remarks came in the wake of a foiled infiltration early Monday morning in which two massive squads of terrorists were spotted emerging from two separate tunnels between two kibbutzim along the Gaza border.

Residents in Nir Am and Erez were quickly ordered to remain in their homes and lock their doors, as Israeli air force pilots targeted one terror cell, and ground forces engaged the other. All of the terrorists were eliminated in the fierce fire fight that followed.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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