Latest update: February 20th, 2012
JERUSALEM – Four Kassam rockets were fired at the Western Negev city of Sderot Sunday morning, leaving one man dead. A rocket crashed into his car, and he suffered sharp gashes in his neck. The Israeli civilian crashed into a wall, was rushed to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon and died within an hour of his wounds.
Another person was lightly injured, and several people were treated for shock. School children waiting for buses to take them to their first day of classes outside of Kassam range in areas surrounding Sderot panicked upon the sounding of the “Color Red” rocket alert.
Earlier in the morning, another two rockets landed in central Sderot, causing damage but no casualties.
The Kassam victim was Oshri Oz, 36, of Hod HaSharon, an employee of the Sderot-based “Peretz Bonei HaNegev” construction company. He was Israel’s tenth fatal casualty of a Kassam rocket in the past three years – and the second in the past week. Among the dead were three toddlers and a 17-year-old girl.
In response to the ongoing Kassam attacks, the Israel Air Force carried out dozens of air strikes throughout Gaza over the weekend.
The Air Force first struck a Hamas operations center in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood and a training camp near the area of Shati. Five Hamas terrorists were killed and 23 injured in the strikes, according to PA reports.
Another strike, minutes after those in Gaza City, hit Hamas targets in Rafiah, on the southern tip of Gaza.
Later, a Hamas training camp at the destroyed Jewish town of N’vei Dekalim, a bit further north, was hit by IAF missiles. Another missile hit a Hamas post in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City in central-northern Gaza.
On Friday, seven air strikes were carried out in Gaza. One missile struck Kassam rocket launchers riding in a vehicle, killing two and injuring six. The explosion caused by the missile was followed by another explosion, caused presumably by explosives in the vehicle.
One missile struck a guard post opposite PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s Gaza home, though the IDF
states that Haniyeh was not the target of the attack. The Hamas chief was not home at the time but showed up shortly afterward in a jogging suit, though his guards whisked him away when IAF jets were heard overhead. A senior Hamas terror-chief in charge of Kassam cells died Saturday in a Gaza hospital after being wounded in an air strike last week.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Oshri Oz on Monday, the 36-year-old Hod Hasharon resident who was killed in Sunday’s Kassam attack on Sderot.
At the beginning of the funeral, which was held in Petach Tikvah, Oz’s pregnant widow Suzanna collapsed and was treated by paramedics.
When the procession began the widow insisted on walking behind the stretcher carrying her husband’s body, despite pleas that she board an ambulance.
Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch of Yisrael Beitenu said during his eulogy that the government is doing all it can to protect Israel’s citizens.
His comments stirred a minor uproar, and some of those on hand shouted back at the minister, “How are you protecting us?” and “What did Oshri do that you did not protect him?”
They were quickly quieted by the other participants and the ceremony continued.
After Oz was buried, his sister lay down by the fresh grave and cried bitterly.
Throughout the funeral, weeping and cries of grief could be heard. After the funeral, family and close friends remained at the grave for some time.
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