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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ashkelon’

Jewish Diaspora Donors Infuse NIS 50M Into Southern Israel

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Jewish donors have injected an infusion of some NIS 50 million ($13.22 million) into rocket-battered communities in southern Israel.

The package was organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel, whose Board of Governors is meeting this week in the coastal city of Ashkelon and surrounds.

Ashkelon was one of the primary targets of rocket and missile attacks launched by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization before and during the IDF’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge this summer.

The funds are being used to help the south recover from the damage inflicted by Gaza terrorists during the 50-day war, which ended on the eve of Tisha B’Av.

Comprised of donations from the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren HaYesod-UIA and others, some of the money is aimed at programs to expand the population of communities closest to the border with Gaza.

Approximately 1,300 scholarships of more than NIS 5,700 each ($1,500) will be offered to students living within four kilometers of Gaza (2.5 miles) for help with rent, in a move designed to draw young adults to the area.

In addition, there will be funding for special loans to local businesses located within the “40-kilometer (25 miles) zone” whose operations was affected by the war. There will also be grants for victims of rocket attacks, financing to pay for refurbishing private bomb shelters via the Amigur housing subsidiary, coordinated between the Jewish Agency, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Defense. In addition, the Jewish Agency will provide support for new immigrants in local absorption centers in southern Israel and IDF lone soldiers wounded during the war.

The Jewish Agency Fund for Victims of Terror also provides a grant of NIS 4,000 ($1,060) to famkilies immediately after an attack if they have experienced an injury or loss or their homes were damaged by rocket fire during a war. Subsequently, if the government of Israel recognizes a family as a “victim of terror” the Fund provides additional aid of up to NIS 25,000 ($6,600) to the family as well.

Yet, world Jewry has responded magnificently with compassion and grace to help provide the massive amount of money required to address the needs of Israel’s war-torn southern population, so badly traumatized following the summer’s events.

Opening this week’s gathering, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Scharansky thanked the agency’s partners in the Jewish world.

“This is a continuation of the Jewish world’s massive outpouring of solidarity with the people of Israel and the residents of the South over the course of the summer,” Scharansky noted. “During the war, we stood with the residents and channeled the solidarity and support of world Jewry. Today, we are partnering with the government of Israel to ensure that [their] pioneering spirit endures well into the future, drawing ever more people to this area and keeping it strong and vibrant for many years to come.

“This is the Zionist response to this summer’s events, and it is an expression of our commitment to the residents of southern Israel.”

The agency’s Board of Governors also toured Kibbutz Nahal Oz, one of the Gaza Belt communities that was held under siege with rocket and mortar fire by Hamas and allied terrorists prior to and during the war.

IDF Southern Command GOC Maj. Gen. Shlomo Turgeman told the governors, “We are fighting for our homes here. Your decision to hold the Jewish Agency Board of Governors’ meetings in southern Israel after Operation Protective Edge is a massive source of strength for me personally, and for the soldiers under my command.”

Hundreds of World Jewish Leaders to Meet in Rocket-Battered South

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Hundreds of Jewish leaders from around the world who are part of the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governor will convene in Ashkelon, one of Hamas favorite targets for rockets and missiles, next week.

The Board had been set to meet in Mexico as part of its annual rotation amongst the world’s Jewish communities, but in light of this summer’s hostilities, it decided to move the gathering to southern Israel as an expression of support and solidarity with its residents.

Speakers will include Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, author and journalist Yossi Klein Halevi, and Racheli Fraenkel, the mother of one of the three yeshiva students whom Hamas terrorists kidnapped and murdered this summer.

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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gaza-terrorists-back-to-business-as-usual-attacking-israel/2014/08/19/

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