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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ashkelon’

Firsthand Account from Ashkelon Rocket Strike

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

A Hamas rocket slammed into an Ashkelon home early Tuesday, lightly wounding 6 people, including three children. Two rooms in the home were completely destroyed, including the master bedroom where the mother and father had been just moments before the blast. Some 30 people were taken to Barzilai hospital for treatment following the blast.

Shortly after 6:30 am, a Code Red siren sounded in the southern city of Ashkelon, prompting Ofrah Cohen and her husband Yuval to leave their bedroom and gather their children to take them to the bomb shelter. “Suddenly there was an explosion,” she recounted, “and the whole house was filled with blackness. The entire house was destroyed. I do not even want to think what would have happened if we had stayed in the bedroom.”

Cohen could scarcely believe that her house was destroyed. “It was an indescribable explosion.” The mother of two marveled at the fact that her family escaped death with nothing more minor cuts from glass shards. “I really feel we received the gift of life,” she remarked.

14-year-old Naor Cohen, the younger of the Cohen’s two children, said he was still asleep when his parents came to evacuate them to the bomb shelter.

“Then there was a big explosion and fire,” he said. “Debris flew, everything suddenly collapsed. We’ve never been in that situation. I still cannot comprehend what happened here.”

In Ashkelon’s Barzilai hospital, the emergency room was filled with dozens injured in the blast, including 9-year-old Liam Atizon, who vividly recalled the rocket impact.

“I was asleep in bed. There was a siren, and my mom woke me up,” said the boy. “We have no safe room in the apartment. We ran to the stairwell and then there was a loud boom, the whole building shook. There was shattered glass, and a piece flew into my face.” Liam said he was lucky that the debris caused only a small cut on cheek, joining dozens of other victims who escaped more serious injury in the latest major attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas.

“All the windows and the shutters flew off the buildings,” Liam added. “My mother was also hurt. She was taken by ambulance, and I got my first ambulance ride. It was just Mom and I at home. I was very scared.”

Liam explained that his family had moved recently. “For three months we lived here, and for two months we have been at war.” Commenting on the security situation, the boy added, “I was born and grew up in Ashkelon. I am already nine years old and during this entire time the situation continues. It makes no sense that we have been living life like this the whole time.”

A number of elderly were also among those admitted to the hospital following the attack.

In the aftermath of this morning’s strike, Ashkelon locals once again condemned the country’s leadership of abandoning residents of the south. One resident asked why the authorities were waiting for someone to be killed before taking decisive action, while another called the government’s unwillingness to eliminate Hamas a “disgrace.”

The IDF continued its operations overnight against terror targets in the Gaza Strip. An IDF spokesman told Tazpit News Agency that Israeli forces have scored 23 hits on Hamas infrastructure since midnight, while the terror group launched a total of 53 rockets and mortars at Israel’s civilian population.

Dozens Wounded, Homeless After Hamas Hits Ashkelon House with Powerful New Missile

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

The Code Red incoming rocket alert siren wailed its way from Ashkelon to Ramat HaSharon very early on Tuesday morning, dragging mothers and their sleeping babies out of bed and into the shelters.

After a long day of intensive rocket fire that went late into the night, Gaza terrorists woke Israelis along the coast at 6:30 am with a new round of rocket and missile attacks.

In Ashkelon, the Iron Dome defense system intercepted only one of the missiles.

Another managed to pierce the protection of the anti-missile defense system, with tragic results, leaving four homeless, and wounding 32.

In general, the Iron Dome system seems to be making fewer interceptions at this point than it did in the earlier stages of the war, although it is not clear why. Each interception saves lives. Each lack of an interception results in disaster. In Ashkelon on Tuesday, dozens of people aid the price.

The missile exploded directly on a home in the coastal city of Ashkelon. Four family members inside the house – two parents and children ages 14 and 17 – were heading for their safe space when the missile struck directly above the parents’ bedroom, but miraculously were physically unharmed, although shaken by the incident. A main water pipe outside the home was badly damaged by shrapnel from the attack, and several homes around the home that was hit were also damaged.

Six people were physically wounded by flying glass, including three small children. More than two dozen others suffered severe shock and had to be evacuated to the city’s Barzilai Medical Center for treatment.

The rocket launched at Ashkelon was was a new type of short-range 136mm rocket, according to Reshet Bet.

The Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades military wing of Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had “fired R-160 rockets at Haifa and four M75 rockets at Tel Aviv in response to attacks on multi-story buildings” in Gaza.

Since midnight Sunday, Gaza terrorists fired at least 130 rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians. Of those, 16 were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system – far fewer than in previous weeks.

By 9 am Tuesday, the usual barrages of rocket fire aimed at Gaza Belt communities had also resumed. One of two Qassam rockets that exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council district landed within a community there, damaging a building.

Missile Lands In Ashkelon; No Injuries

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Breaking News: A Hamas rocket landed this afternoon in an open field in the city of Ashkelon this afternoon, near a main road with heavy traffic. Reports from the city indicate that the Code Red missile alert system did not sound.

The attack occurred sometime after four o’clock as Hamas rocket fire continued unabated at Israeli civilians Monday. By 4 pm terrorists had fired more than 60 salvos over the Gaza border. The vast majority of missiles landed in open fields, and Iron Dome missile defense batteries downed four missiles.

Residents of Ashkelon sustained five Code Red sirens in just five minutes and an Iron Dome battery downed a rocket over the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Further south, 15 missiles were fired at the Sdot Negev Regional Council; five rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome missiles

In central Israel, false alarms sounded in Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Kfar Shmaryahu and Ramat Hasharon. In the Eshkol Regional Council, one man was lightly wounded by shrapnel, and a home and soccer field sustained light damage.

In response to the attacks, the Israel Air Force attacked terrorist targets near a mosque in Gaza City.

Miracle in Ashkelon: No One Home When Missile Hits

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

A missile fired by Gaza terrorists struck a home in Ashkelon Wednesday afternoon in the Ashkelon coastal region district.

It was a direct hit.

But the People of Israel can add this to the list of miracles with which they’ve been blessed during Operation Protective Edge, because no one was home when the missile struck the home of the Messer family.

“We had just left a few minutes before; I don’t know, we just had this feeling,” Alon Messer told a reporter for Army Radio in an interview a few minutes later. “My wife and I took our baby daughter and we had barely gone, when we heard the siren, and then the ‘boom!’ It was so close, we just knew somehow it was our house — and sure enough, when we came back and looked, there it was.”

The house had just been built, his wife added. “It was barely a year old,” she mourned. But despite the damage, no one was physically injured. Residents around the area were understandably traumatized in response to the event.

Close to 100 rockets and missiles were fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza since Hamas violated the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that was still in force Tuesday afternoon as Israeli and Palestinian Arab negotiators continued to work towards an agreement to end the destruction.

Israeli representatives were immediately recalled from the talks, however, as soon as rocket fire was aimed at Israeli civilians, violating the agreement some eight hours before the cease-fire was due to run out.

Gaza Terrorists Back to Attacking Israel, Israelis ‘Absolutely’ Outraged

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Gaza terrorists returned to ‘business as usual’ launching rocket and missile attacks against Israel late Tuesday afternoon.

It’s the 11th time Hamas has violated an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire, due to end at midnight.

A barrage of missile fire was aimed at Ashdod and communities along the Gaza border Tuesday evening, with all of the missiles landing in open areas.

No one was physically injured in any of the attacks, but many were traumatized and even more were “absolutely” outraged to find themselves and their children under rocket fire while they believed a cease-fire was in force and negotiations were underway.

A few minutes after 6:30 pm, two missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, indicating they were both headed directly for densely populated areas.

But the cease-fire had already been violated more than an hour earlier.

The first attack came in a barrage of Grad missiles aimed at Be’er Sheva and Netivot — a surprise not anticipated by residents who were not warned by the Code Red incoming rocket alert system, which malfunctioned.

Two missiles landed in open areas on the outskirts of Be’er Sheva, and a third exploded in Netivot. Miraculously, no one was physically injured and no property damage was reported.

Within half an hour, at about 5:30 pm, a rocket was fired at civilians living in the Sdot Negev Regional Council district. They, too were given no warning since the Code Red system was not triggered by the launch from Gaza, yet no one was injured in the attack.

A multiple barrage was fired shortly after, targeting the coastal city of Ashkelon and aiming again at the agricultural communities located along the Gaza Belt area, most of which provide food to markets in greater Israel.

“Operation Protective Edge is not over,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned journalists during a meeting at the IDF Naval Academy on Monday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He was right.

Israel Air Force fighter pilots took to the skies to retaliate immediately following the first cease-fire violation.

“Following renewed rocket attacks at Israel… amidst the ceasefire, the IDF is currently targeting terror sites across the Gaza Strip,” IDF Spokesperson Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement to media.

“The IDF remains alert and maintains both defensive and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression. The IDF is determined to defend the civilians of the State of Israel. Yet again, terrorists breach the ceasefire and renew fire at Israeli civilians from Hamas ruled Gaza Strip. This continued aggression will be addressed accordingly by the IDF.

“We will continue striking terror infrastructure, pursuing terrorists, and eliminating terror capabilities in the Gaza Strip, in order to restore security for the State of Israel.”

IDF Stops Train Service South of Ashkelon

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Sunday night – IDF Homefront Command has ordered all train service south of Ashkelon stopped until further notice.

The army hasn’t said why, but presumably they believe the ceasefire may end sometime very soon.

Sources report that there is concern that an anti-tank missile may be fired at the train.

The IDF Homefront Command has also published silent radio channels for tonight.

Hamas Breaks Cease-Fire with Three Rocket Attacks

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Hamas attacked southern Israel with three rockets shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, ending the 72-hour cease-fire nearly three hours before its official end.

No one was injured.

Israel has not responded to the rocket fire, at least so far and may be waiting to see if Hamas is intent on launched round two of the war, or simply is letting Hamas play head games by not extending the cease-fire but and shooting three rockets just to prove it can do so.

The best scenario would be that Israel has spotted the rocket launching sites and will retaliate later this evening.

However, Hamas claims it did not fire the rockets, which makes the terrorist organization look even worse because if true, it proves, as it has often proven, that it does not control Gaza.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down one rocket over Ashkelon, and two other rockets exploded in open areas in the area of Sderot, located approximately one mile – as the missile flies – from the Gaza border, and in the area south of Ashkelon.

The Palestinian Authority postponed a scheduled 9:30 p.m. press conference as truce talks in Cairo appear to have been nothing more than hot air that is about to blow up. President Obama spoke with Prime minister Netanyahu about the cease-fire during the afternoon, according to White House spokesman Ben Rhodes.

The IDF has called up reservists and extended the emergency “Tzav 8” orders so thousands of soldiers, some of whom were called up as long as a month ago.

After the original ceasefire began, the IDF pulled troops out of Gaza but redeployed thousands of troops along the Gaza border, from the north to the south, so that they can go into action immediately if need be.

However, hundreds of tanks and armored personnel carriers returned to their bases near Eilat and in the Golan. But enough remain near Gaza so that the IDF can retaliate.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-breaks-ceasefire-with-three-rocket-attacks/2014/08/13/

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