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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ashkelon’

Monday Morning Missile Explodes on Ashkelon Coast, No Alarm

Monday, September 21st, 2015

In the wee hours of Monday morning, at around 3 am, a Grad Katyusha missile was fired at southern Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza, and landed in an open area in the Ashkelon coastal region.

No one was injured and no damage was reported — but no one was warned that the rocket was heading their way, either.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system did not fire, and there was no Color Red incoming rocket alert sounded, presumably because it was determined the rocket would land in an open area without people.

Security personnel who searched the area found missile had landed in an open area, near some greenhouses, in the Ashkelon coastal region.

Just three days ago, the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was called into action to intercept a similar attack launched from Gaza by Palestinian Arab terrorists.

In that instance, the missile was heading straight for the city of Ashkelon, a heavily populated area. The Color Red incoming rocket alert siren wailed its warning from one end of the city to the other.

The missile was intercepted in mid-air and the threat was neutralized, while nearly 120,000 city residents waited safely in their bomb shelters.


Arabs Erupt in Violence Across Jerusalem, 2 Rockets in Southern Israel

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) Despite a massive police reinforcement in Jerusalem, clashes between Arabs and security forces raged Friday and Saturday, with serious disturbances in several refugee camps; a rocket exploding in Sderot and a Grad intercepted over Ashkelon—the IAF retaliated.

Friday’s violent clashes in Jerusalem included serious disturbances in the Shuafat refugee camp and in the neighborhoods of A-Tur and Issawiya. Molotov cocktails injured Border Guard officers in Jabel Mukaber, a predominantly Arab neighborhood in south-east Jerusalem. Arab rioters were wounded and arrested. There was another attack on the Jerusalem light rail.

Muslim prayers on the Temple Mount ended in relative quiet Friday afternoon, but at the end of the prayers, according to Ynet, the signal was given for Arabs to start rioting at several locations in Jerusalem. Starting at 1:00 PM Friday, Arabs threw stones at police and Border Guard at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. In A-Tur, about half a mile from there, on Mt. Olives, masked rioters hurled stones at police and Border Guard. Officers responded with riot control gear and one rioter was injured by police.

Around 3:00 PM an Arab threw a paint bottle at the light rail tram on the Shuafat line—no one was injured.

Around 4 PM some serious disturbances developed in the Shuafat refugee camp, with dozens of youths, some masked and others wearing gas masks, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Border Police officers. One rioter, 18, a resident of Hebron, was arrested. The Border Guard also arrested and transferred for questioning a 17 year-old who was throwing stones at police in Wadi Joz.

There were extremely violent clashes in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in southern east Jerusalem, where three border policemen were injured, one moderately and two lightly, from a Molotov cocktail that was thrown at them. An Arab who was shot in the leg was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate to severe condition. Eight Arabs who were involved in the clashes were later arrested.

At 6:25 PM, Friday, police arrested a 17-year-old Arab who, along with several other young men, threw Molotov cocktails and stones at the security forces and a security vehicle in A-Tur. The local guard fired in the air to disperse the rioters. There were no injuries.

Around 8:00 PM, three Arabs were wounded lightly to moderately, one of them 13-years-old, during clashes between rioters and IDF and border police forces at the Rachel’s Tomb compound. The rioters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the security forces, and in response the forces fired at them. The boy was evacuated by Magen David Adom paramedics to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem and the rest of the injured were evacuated by the Red Crescent to a hospital in the Palestinian Authority.

At 8:40 PM, sirens sounded in the city of Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNegev regional council, as a rocket hit southern Israel. The rocket, launched from the Gaza Strip, landed adjacent to a bus in the Sderot area, causing damage. Sirens sounded for a second time, at 11:31 PM, in the city of Ashkelon. That rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome Aerial defense system. No injuries have been reported.

In response to the attacks, IAF aircraft targeted three terror sites in the northern Gaza Strip.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman stated: “This evening’s acts of aggression are a clear reminder of Gaza’s commitment to violent terrorism. Israeli civilians should not have to live in fear, no one should. Hamas is the ruling power in the Gaza Strip and is therefore responsible, accountable and culpable for every attack emanating from Gaza.”

These were the 10th and 11th rockets to hit Israeli territory since January 2015.

IAF Bombs Gaza Terror Sites in Retaliation for Rocket Attacks

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Israeli fighter pilots bombed three terror targets in Gaza early Saturday in retaliation for rocket attacks fired at southern Israel just after the start of the Sabbath on Friday.

Among the targets struck by the IAF in northern Gaza was a Hamas telecommunications site.

The Da’esh (ISIS)-linked Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigades terror organization announced it was responsible for Friday night’s rocket attacks.

The group is named after Sheikh Omar Hadid, who aided Abu Musab al-Zarqawi found and operate the Iraqi branch of the international Al Qaeda terror organization ten years ago.

Nevertheless, Israel holds Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization responsible for any violence or terror attacks that emanate from its territory.

A rocket exploded in the city of Sderot, less than a mile from the Gaza border at approximately 8:30 pm Friday evening.

People were sent fleeing to bomb shelters by the wail of the Color Red incoming rocket alert siren at around the same time they reported hearing the rocket explode in a residential area of the city.

The family whose home was hit by the rocket was home – and inside their home – at the time of the attack, according to local sources, but reportedly were not physically hurt. A number of people at the scene suffered from severe trauma, however.

Both the home and a bus that was parked nearby were damaged in the attack.

A similar Code Red incoming rocket alert was triggered across the coastal city of Ashkelon three hours later, sending nearly 120,000 residents racing for cover, their Sabbath dessert abandoned on the tables.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system launched an interceptor missile that successfully neutralized the missile that was fired from Gaza directly at the busy city.

No one was reported injured and no damage was caused in the second attack.

Unique 1,800-Year-Old Sarcophagus Found at Ashkelon Building Site

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

A unique and extremely impressive stone sarcophagus approximately 1,800 years old has been exposed at a building site in a new neighborhood being built in Ashkelon.

This occurred during an overnight operation between Tuesday and Wednesday carried out by inspectors of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, the Southern District of the IAA, and patrol officers and detectives from the Ashkelon police station.

The find is among the rarest sarcophagi ever discovered in Israel. The coffin, made of hard limestone, weighs approximately two tons, is 2.5 meters long, and is sculpted on all sides. A life-size figure of a person is carved on the lid of the sarcophagus.

A wreath coming out of the upper edge of the sarcophagus, which is decorated with bulls’ heads. The wreath consists of acanthus leaves together with pinecones and fruit. A grape cluster is in the center of the wreath, and a rose-like decoration is also displayed in it.

A wreath coming out of the upper edge of the sarcophagus, which is decorated with bulls’ heads. The wreath consists of acanthus leaves together with pinecones and fruit. A grape cluster is in the center of the wreath, and a rose-like decoration is also displayed in it.

The unique artifact was repeatedly struck by a tractor in different places, scarring the stone and damaging the decorations sculpted by an artist on its sides. The irreparable damage was caused by the contractors who encountered the impressive sarcophagus during the course of their work.

They decided to hide it, pulling it out of the ground with a tractor while aggressively damaging it, and then concealing it beneath a stack of sheet metal and boards. They poured a concrete floor in the lot so as to conceal any evidence of the existence of the antiquities site.

Information received by the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery about unlawful activities at the construction site led to a nighttime search being conducted in the area. A close examination of the area revealed the sarcophagus and the lid concealed there.

The sarcophagus lid and the sarcophagus during the initial cleaning.

The sarcophagus lid and the sarcophagus during the initial cleaning.

Five Palestinian Arab construction workers from the Hebron area were detained who were sleeping at the building site. During investigation of the laborers at the Ashkelon police station, it became clear that the sarcophagus was excavated last week. When questioned, they showed the investigators photos and videos taken at the time of the sarcophagus’ discovery and while removing it from the ground.

Later that night, two building contractors were detained who are residents of the city and were responsible for the construction work at the site. The contractors were questioned under caution on suspicion of not reporting an ancient discovery and on suspicion of damaging an antiquities site and its artifacts – an offense punishable by five years imprisonment.

“This is an extremely serious case of damage to a rare antiquity of unprecedented artistic, historical and cultural importance,” said Amir Ganor, head of the Inspection Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“The IAA is attentive to development needs and the needs of the public, but will strictly enforce the law against those who knowingly damage antiquities, which are assets belonging to us all.

“Out of consideration for the owners of the lots, we permitted building in the new neighborhood of villas, on condition they would report any discovery of antiquities in the area right away and immediately halt work until the arrival of our representative.

Update: Iron Dome Anti-Missile Batteries Deployed in Southern Israel

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Iron Dome anti-missile defense systems were deployed Thursday in areas between the coastal port cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod. The system was also deployed Thursday in the northern Negev city of Be’er Sheva, where the system has not been deployed since last summer’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas and allied terrorists in Gaza.

Security coordinators for communities in the Gaza Belt and other districts in southern Israel have been warned of possible rocket fire by Gaza terrorists.

Rocket fire was launched at northern Israel from the Syrian side of the border late Thursday afternoon. Two rockets exploded in open fields in the Galilee Panhandle, setting ripening crops ablaze. Two more rockets exploded in the Golan Heights and ignited fires in fields there as well. Firefighting crews were backed by by firefighter aircraft in helping to extinguish the flames.

Israel Defense Forces and local security personnel have been placed on high alert in response to the deteriorating health condition of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Mohammed Alla’an, hospitalized at Barzilai Medical Center.

The Gaza-based, Iranian-backed PIJ terror group has threatened to launch attacks against Israel if the hunger-striker dies.

Alla’an, who was held on administrative detention in connection with terror activity, has caused himself brain damage after refusing to eat for more than 60 days. It is not clear whether or not the damage is reversible.

Israel’s High Court of Justice order the state to suspend Alla’an’s detention and to allow his family unrestricted visitation. However, he and his family will need to seek permission from the Court if he chooses to seek leave or seek care elsewhere.

Alla’an was resedated Wednesday evening for the second time in a week due to his medical condition.

Air Force Hits One Lonely Terror Target after Missile Attack

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

The Israeli Air Force struck a solitary “terror infrastructure” target early Thursday morning in “retaliation” for a missile attack south of Ashkelon.

No one was injured, and no damage was reported in the rocket attack, so the IDF decided to act “proportionately” to the nth degree and strike back at only one target, without injuring a terrorist.

The rocket exploded in the Ashkelon Coastal Region second after an early warning siren was heard at 2:02 a.m.

The IDF spokesman stated:

The rocket landed in an open area adjacent to the city of Ashkelon, no injuries were reported.

In response to this attack, IAF aircrafts targeted a terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

IDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner: ‘The time was 2 AM in Israel when sirens sounded in the Lachish region, a frightening wake up call, alerting civilians to rush to shelters.

The repeated rocket fire at Israel does not only put the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk but it [also] is a deliberate decision to target civilians. No person should live under the threat of terrorism, always fearing what will come next, and whether they will find shelter in time to save their lives.

The IDF said it views the attack “gravely and will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens.”

Therefore, it attacked “a” terror target.

Not many people will sleep well tonight in southern Israel.

‘Hamas is Responsible For My Son. They Cannot Shirk Responsibility’

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The mother of a (possibly) mentally ill young man who crossed the southern border of Israel into Gaza is blaming Hamas for her son’s captivity.

A second civilian, also in his 20s, is being held captive in Gaza as well. All information about the second man, a Negev Bedouin resident of the town of Hura, has been censored, however.

Avraham Mengisto’s mother told media in a briefing today (Thursday, July 9) while meeting with Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni that she holds Gaza’s ruling terror organization responsible for the welfare of her 28-year-old son.

“Hamas is responsible for my son’s fate,” his mother said. “They cannot shirk their responsibility. I [also] hope the state will not cease to act for his return.”

The mayor visited her at the family home in Ashkelon on Thursday after the news of Avraham’s disappearance was cleared for publication. “The family is going through a very difficult time, after the double tragedy that they’ve endured,” Shimoni said. “Askelon Municipality’s social services department has been accompanying them since the first moment. We embrace the family and send them strength and hope that Avraham will be back with his family quickly,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Avraham’s brother Ilan subsequently said “[We] have decided to behave with restraint and give the government time to get our brother back home and we also ask the people of Israel to show restraint… The family considers this a humanitarian issue and we call on the international community to get involved and work to secure the release of my brother,” he said. “I ask that Hamas consider the condition of my brother and release him,” he added.

Information about Avraham’s disappearance 10 months ago only became public today due to the lifting of a gag order.

Mengisto left his home in Ashkelon early on September 8, 2014, and apparently kept walking along the shoreline until he crossed the border into Gaza. This is not the first time that Mengisto has gone missing; there have been three reports of similar incidents registered with the social services department, although none involved a border crossing.

Mengisto’s mother Agernesh lives in Ashkelon, and his father Ayele lives in central Israel. He is one of nine children in the family.

According to the Defense Ministry there is no concrete information as to his fate; IDF Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai told media, however, that current information indicates Mengisto is being held by Hamas.

A military source said Mengisto had initially been arrested by Hamas after crossing the border in September, but the terror organization said it released him because he was not a soldier. The source said there have been several attempts since that time to negotiate for his release.

A Hamas source in Gaza told Ynet that Mengisto is no longer in the region; the source said the Israeli exited the enclave via the tunnels in the southern border town of Rafah, and headed into Egypt.

Mengisto’s grieving mother added that despite her efforts to remain strong, “It hurts me. Since he disappeared, my life has come to a stop.

“Every day I wait for him to come through the door and say ‘hello.’ I pray for his return, and ask anyone who can help us to do so.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-is-responsible-for-my-son-they-cannot-shirk-responsibility/2015/07/09/

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