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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
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Palestinian Missile Range Expanding, Getting Closer to Tel Aviv


An "Iron Dome" short-range missile defense system deployed near the port city of Ashdod.

An "Iron Dome" short-range missile defense system deployed near the port city of Ashdod.
Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90

Rocket fire from Gaza continued unabated throughout the day Monday, as terrorist struck deeper into Israeli territory and two people sustained injuries.

For the first time in the current round of escalation by the various terror groups in the Gaza strip, two rockets struck the town of Gedera, which is a mere 40 km from Tel Aviv.

Two Grad rockets were also fired at Ashdod and exploded inside the city proper. One of them exploded in an open area, causing little damage, while the other landed inside the city center, where an Ashdod resident in her eighties and another person were injured from flying glass. One person also suffered a heart attack and seven others were treated for shock. Visible damage could be seen on store buildings and cars. Minutes later, another red alert sounded in the city and residents reported that they heard two explosions, but the Iron Dome system shot down the rocket.

A map of Israel showing Gaza, Gedera and Tel-Aviv

A map of Israel showing Gaza, Gedera and Tel-Aviv (broken lines mark the old 1949 border)

So far, over 40 rockets have been fired into Israel on Monday, as the entire southern region -from Sderot to Beersheva, from Ashdod to Gadera- and its 1 million remain under continuous threat.

Home Front Command Chief Major General Eyal Eisenberg held a briefing in which he said that he anticipates the violence to last for a few more days.

Picking up on this thread, the Jewish Press’ Knesset Insider, Jeremy Saltan said that talk of a cease fire has increased in the halls of the Knesset. “MKs on the Left don’t want to see an escalation because it will harm possible talks with Palestinians and the Right usually does better in the polls after large military missions…while MKs on the Right – aside from National Union- seem to think a ceasefire is the best idea and surgical strikes are sufficient, without the need for ground forces.”

“Every MK I have spoken with expressed deep solidarity with the citizens in the South,” Saltan said,  “but they all also stress the big picture.”

Raam Ta’al MK Ahmed Tibi expressed a different sort of solidarity Monday on his Facebook page, where he wrote: “Gaza is strong and will weather through.” No stranger to controversy, Tibi enraged fellow MKs for his apparent apathy towards the plight of the million citizens of the state he purports to represent. MK Danny Danon said: “Tibi is a terrorist disguised as a Knesset member. He has crossed every red line imaginable. In any other country he would spend the rest of his life behind bars.”

Tibi’s spokesman responded by saying that “[t]hose who initiated the killings knew what the response would be… We say again – there is no symmetry between the occupier and the conquered.”

 

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