Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured Israelis on Sunday that Israel’s armed forces would protect residents of the south, as a tentative quiet followed a weekend of rockets lobbed on the region from Gaza.
“The IDF will act forcefully against those who are trying to harm us, and if necessary, will act with even more force,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting. “Our policy is to use force in order to return security and quiet to the residents of the South.”
The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted five Grad rockets from Gaza on Saturday targeting the 113,000 residents of the city of Ashkelon. Gazan-based terrorists launched 25 rockets against targets in southern Israel on Saturday, damaging a school and a factory and bringing the total number of rockets fired in the last week to 150.
A fragile Egypt brokered an even more fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas which appears to be in effect since the last Grad missile was launched at 10pm on Saturday. Schools were open as usual on Sunday morning.
Despite the fear and tension which the rocket fire has caused in southern Israel, several residents and potential victims reported experiencing miracles which kept them and their families safe from harm.
The majority of the rockets in the six day barrage were aimed at the border city of Sderot, with others landing in the Eshkol, Ashkelon Beach and Shaar HaNegev Regional Councils. A rocket which landed at a Sderot factory moderately-to-severely injured a 50 year old male factory employee who was hit in the neck and by shrapnel and evacuated by a Magen David Adom medical team to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkeon. The factory sustained heavy damage and two civilians were treated for shock. A rocket which hit an empty school caused serious damage but no injuries.
Israeli security leadership held emergency meetings with the Prime Minister on Saturday, with security sources stating that “quiet will be met with quiet, but more rocket fire will be met with further fire.”
Several area residents were treated for shock, with IDF Home Front Command urging residents to remain close to bomb shelters. Sderot mayor David Buskila convened a special meeting with police and Home Front Command officials on Saturday, demanding that the government protect the town, and reporting that the city’s center for victims of stress and anxiety was open for the public.
Israel responded to attacks by launching a targeted strike against Gaza terrorists, with the Israel Air Force killing one terrorist in northern Gaza near Jabaliya as he prepared to launch a missile, and killing another en route on a motorcycle to a rocket launching site outside Gaza City
Israeli Air Force jets bombed three Hamas military bases in Gaza on Saturday morning, injuring 20 according to sources in Gaza.
Israeli airstrikes have killed at least six Gaza terrorists since Monday.
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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