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July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Eshkol’

Terrorists Kill 15 Egyptian Soldiers, Launch Rockets on Israel, Attempt to Infiltrate Border After Targeted Killing – Regional Activist Says it is “No Surprise”

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

A serious attempt by Gaza terrorists to breach the Israeli border, and the launch of dozens of rockets and mortar shells on the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel on Sunday evening, has led to exchanges of fire on the Israeli border, the slaughter of 15 Egyptian soldiers by Gaza terrorists, and warnings to residents of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom to remain in shelters and lock their doors for safety reasons.  Despite fear and concerns for security, a long-time activist for the western Negev region said the attacks come as “no surprise” to residents of the region.

On Sunday night, terrorists broke into an Egyptian military base and stole two armored troop carriers, using them to smash through Israel’s border with Gaza at approximately 8pm.

One jeep exploded as it rammed through the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Israel, but the other made it through, with armed terrorists jumping out and firing at IDF troops.  IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai told reporters that the IDF is combing the area to be sure no additional terrorists infiltrated the country, and ruled out any kidnappings of soldiers.  According to a report in Al Arabiya, 15 Egyptian soldiers were killed during the theft, with several more wounded.

Egypt responded by launching F-16 attacks on targets in Rafiach (quite possibly in breach of the Camp David Accords), with President-elect Morsi calling for an emergency government meeting with the army.

Egypt has also closed the Rafiach crossing indefinitely.

Earlier in the day, exchanges of fire were reported across the border in the area, with at least 15 shells being launched from tanks on the Israeli side.  Sources in Gaza said militants firing at Israeli soldiers were wounded in the exchange.

The Israel Air Force had conducted a surgical strike against a member of the Popular Resistance Committtees terror organization who was traveling on a motorcycle in the city of Rafiah.  The terrorist, 19 year-old Eyad Nadi Okel, was eliminated, and another terrorist, 22 year-old Ahmed Sayid Ismayil, was wounded.

The IDF released a statement saying the operation was conducted in cooperation between the army and the Shin Bet intelligence services.  Ismayil was accused of involvement in a June attack on the border which killed an Israeli citizen, and the pair was suspected to be planning another attack on Eilat.

While news of the rocket fire on the western Negev made the headlines on every Israeli news website, Director of the Sderot Media Center Noam Bedein said the attacks “were very much expected today” and came as “no surprise” to the residents of the Eshkol region.

IDF soldiers set up road blocks based on intelligence received about the terrorists' plan to enter Israel in armored vehicles.

IDF soldiers set up road blocks based on intelligence received about the terrorists’ plan to enter Israel in armored vehicles.

“There was a terrorist targeted today, and this is always the response in the past couple years,” Bedein said.  “We had this a month ago – a target in Gaza, followed by 120 rockets and missiles from Hamas.” Bedein added that in that attack Hamas’s website stated that all the targets were military installations, when the terror organization was really aiming at civilian areas in the western Negev.

According to Bedein, 50% of the rockets which have been fired on Israel since Operation Cast Lead in late December 2008 and mid-January 2009 have been fired at the Eshkol Regional Council, the area situated closest to the border with Gaza and containing the city of Sderot, a town which suffered greatly and publicly prior to Cast Lead.  The second highest percentages have been lobbed at Ashkelon, one of Israel’s largest metropolises, housing over 113,000 Israeli residents as of 2009.  Bedein numbered the rockets since the Cast Lead ceasefire on January 18, 2009 at 1604 – not including the rockets launched on Sunday.

And while some would tout the Iron Dome missile defense system as the answer to the worries of residents of Sderot, the measure is totally useless to defend the city.  “The Iron Dome protects from a distance of at least 4.5 kilometers from the target. Anything within 4.5 kilometers of the Gaza border is therefore not protected – like Sderot and the western Negev,” Bedein said.  “Around 45,000 Israelis cannot be protected by Iron Dome.”

So Sderot has become what Bedein calls the “bomb shelter capital of the world.” He says 6,000 units of bomb shelters have been attached to old apartment buildings, at a cost of NIS 500,000 million – just in Sderot.  The tally for the entire western Negev, including new schools enforced against rockets is approximately 500 million dollars.

“Once the alarm goes off, you have just 15 seconds to run for your life,” said Bedein, who lived for 5 years in Sderot as part of his mission to raise awareness for the once beleaguered city.

Though the area has enjoyed a period of respite since Operation Cast Lead, which aimed to halt a nearly ceaseless barrage of Kassam rockets on the town, research done by the social work department at the Sapir Academic college suggests approximately 15,000 people from the Sderot area suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with an estimated 1000 receiving mental health treatment.  “Today we actually went to the director of the mental health center in Sderot and she said it is the first time in a decade that they have cases of people being treated for schizophrenia.  This is the step after PTSD, because they weren’t treated right the first time, so they are getting worse,” Bedein said.  He said that Director Adrianna Katz explained that “It can be quiet for two weeks, and you need just one siren to go off and you go back to the first day you experienced a rocket exploding nearby.  Even though people have their daily routine and summer vacation, we’re talking about years of rehabilitation of people in our region.”

The Games Have Begun but Over Here the Games are Continuing as Usual, and One of the Runners is Injured

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

http://thisongoingwar.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/28-jul-12-games-have-begun-but-over.html

With the attention of much of the world’s public and news media directed at the Olympics, there have been four rocket attacks on southern Israel last night, Saturday.

We’re much more highly motivated on this subject than most people, and therefore know more or less where to look to find reports about these firings. Most people don’t. They therefore have no idea that this happened and keeps happening more or less daily. How can people understand the defensive measures Israel’s military takes if basic information about ongoing constant terrorist attacks goes unreported in the news media?

Two Gazan rockets crashed and exploded in the Eshkol region on Friday. (Reminder that the precise location of rocket landings is generally held back in these reports. Knowing the outcome is usable military intelligence that no sane person on the Israeli side would want to share with the terrorists of Gaza.)

Then last night two more crashed into open fields in the vicinity of Sderot, a city – not a town, not a village – in southern Israel that has the misfortune of being located very close to the Gaza Strip. The alarms were sounded (we’re referring to the anti-missile Tzeva Adom warning system) causing the usual fear and anxiety in thousands of homes throughout southern Israel who somehow fail to get used to the indiscriminate firing of lethal weapons in their general direction. As a result, a woman of 29 suffered injury as she ran to a rocket shelter, and was hospitalized in Ashkelon [Ynet]. The Palestinian Arabs are saying that the terrorists are “a previously unknown militant group in Gaza called the Al-Furqan Brigades” and that they claimed responsibility in a statement.

Two more Qassam rockets fired from the northern part of the Hamas-infested Gaza Strip hit open fields in the Eshkol region again, last night [Ynet]. Fortunately no injuries, no property damage, and no consequences up until now (as far as we know) to the people who fired them. That might yet change.

Rocket Hits Eshkol Region

Friday, July 20th, 2012

A rocket from Gaza hit the Eshkol region in an open area at 2:49PM on Friday. No injuries or damage was reported.

Perhaps they thought they were shooting Ramadan fireworks.

Rockets and Miracles Rain Down on Southern Israelis

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Over 100 rockets fired from Gaza struck southern Israel this past week, with 65 of those rockets clobbering Israeli communities in the northwestern Negev in a single day, on Wednesday.

In the worst of the rocket escalations, a home in the Sdot Negev Regional Council was directly hit by a rocket on Wednesday, with the mother and her child home at the time. Miraculously, they were able to make it to the bomb shelter seconds before the rocket struck their home and were not injured. “My wife and son were saved by a miracle,” said the father of the family to Ma’ariv, who was at work during the attack.

Children on their way to their last day of school were also miraculously saved when they mounted a school bus, just minutes before a rocket struck across their bus stop on a kibbutz in the Eshkol Regional Council.

“This has been a very stressful time for us,” said Ronit Minaker to Tazpit News Agency, a spokeswoman for the Eshkol Regional Council, which is comprised of 31 communities located along the border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. “You hear the sounds of war everywhere and there is this feeling of constant pressure on your mind and in your body. You’re always watching yourself, thinking where you will take cover the next time the siren goes off,” Minaker explained.

“Not everyone here has a bomb shelter. The worst is for the families. There are parents who lay over their children to protect them when the siren sounds.”

Minaker points out that there are times when there is no Color Red siren—the warning sound system which allows people approximately 15 seconds to find cover–which means that Gaza rockets will strike without warning. “In one of the Eshkol communities this week, there fell a barrage of six rockets with no siren. It was mazal [luck] that none of those rockets directly hit a home. But countless people were left in shock, including several women,” said Minaker.

One Eshkol residents who is currently recovering from the shock of a sniper attack that took place last week, is Max Yadgar of Kibbutz Nir Oz.

Yadgar, a farmer, was on his tractor plowing fields about 400 meters from the Gaza border, when a Palestinian sniper opened fire on him Thursday, June 14.

In an exclusive interview, Yadgar described to Tazpit News Agency how the sniper shot at him above his head and right under his seat. Glass shattered everywhere leaving Yadgar with just a scratch on his face.

“I crawled down from the tractor and hid behind the big wheel for protection, waiting for 15 minutes until IDF troops came get me,” recalls Yadgar.

“It was a very scary experience and I’m still not completely past it. I took a few days off and time has been the best medicine so far. I went to a synagogue and prayed. All I have is a scratch on my face from this attack but inside I’m rattled.”

However, Yadgar says he will return to the fields next week, although he will not work in the same field where he was attacked. A husband and father of four children, Yadgar concludes that he will “plow the fields further away from the Gaza border for now.”

Located in the northwestern part of the Negev, the Eshkol Regional Council was established in 1951, and was later named after Israel’s third Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol in 1969. The communities of Eshkol serve as strategic outposts, supporting the IDF in the defense of Israel’s Southern Front during war. Made up of 14 kibbutzim, 15 moshavim and two residential communities, 12,500 Israelis call Eshkol their home. Today much of the region is engaged in industrial, agricultural and farming activity, producing 50 percent of Israel’s tomatoes and potatoes.

Many farmers like Yadgar have come under Palestinian sniper fire over the past few years. In 2008, the IDF asked farmers from Kibbutz Nir Oz to stop harvesting the potatoes during the day, and to instead conduct the harvest at night in order to lower the risk of sniper attacks.

Despite the challenging conditions, Minaker emphasizes that the people of Eshkol are strong and steadfast. “People aren’t leaving because of the situation, in fact more people are moving to Eshkol. There is a very strong sense of community and a supportive framework here,” she explains.

We Cease, They Fire

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

At least 4 rockets attacks have been launched at Eshkol, Ashkelon, and Sha’ar  Ha’Negev since the cease fire began last night. Still, the rate of shooting has subsided substantially since last night Egypt was successful in mediating a ceasefire between Palestinian terror factions and Israel, after four days of rocket attacks into Israel which were met by Israeli highly effective airborne response.

An Egyptian official told AP that the ceasefire went into effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday local time. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the volatility of the situation. A formal announcement of a cease-fire is not expected immediately. As first reported in the JewishPress.com Scoops section, there were quite a number of false starts until it mostly took hold.

After hours of talks, the various Palestinian Jihadist groups agreed to stop launching rockets at southern Israeli cities and Israel agreed to stop targeting terrorist leaders from the air.

Israeli officials cited Israel’s longstanding policy of “answering quiet with quiet,” but it is expected that enough new rocket attacks would bring back renewed air strikes.

Gaza’s Hamas Islamist leadership, whose official policy denies Israel’s right to exist and revokes the Oslo peace accords, has nevertheless kept out of the fighting and appeared unwilling to provoke and even greater conflict with Israel. Hamas confirmed that Egypt was mediating a deal to stop the fighting.

The ceasefire agreement followed calls for calm from the US, the UN, China, France, the EU and the Arab League.

Israel said Gaza Jihadists had fired between 150-200 rockets in four days at its southern towns since the fighting began on Friday. Back then Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist who was on his way to attack Israel from Egyptian territory. The same terrorist had been the commander of the terrorist group that abducted of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit

Eight Israelis were injured by the rockets. An exceptionally high 85% of targeted rockets were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” system.

According to Palestinian sources, twenty of the Palestinians killed in the fighting were terrorists who were caught in the act of launching rockets against Israeli civilians. Five Palestinian civilians were reportedly killed in the fire exchanges. The terrorist were launching strikes from populated areas to use the civilians as human shields.

Israel Strikes Back Against Gaza as Citizens Endure Missiles

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Many Militant Groups Claim Responsibility for Rocket Attackss

Several militants groups have claimed responsibility for firing rockets into southern Israel on Monday, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, while the rocket count is up to 20. It appears that many are eager to be counted among today’s “heroes.”

Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for firing Grad missiles at Beer Sheva, Ashkelon and Ashdod on Monday morning.

The PRC’s military wing, the Nasser Saladin Brigades, said they had launched projectiles at Netivot, Ashkelon, Sderot and Beeri, while the PFLP’s armed wing, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, said it had fired two projectiles at Israeli towns.
The al-Ahrar movement claimed that its military wing, the al-Ansar Brigades, fired two homemade projectiles at southern Israel.

A military group called Jaysh al-Umma, army of the nation, said its’ fighters had fired two 107 mm rockets at Israeli towns.

Terrorists in Gaza fired 17 rockets at major Israeli population centers on Monday morning, primarily at Beersheba and Ashdod.  Seven of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, one exploded outside a kindergarten.

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Young Kibbutz girls Kibbutz examine the shards on the wall by a qassam rocket.

Young Kibbutz girls Kibbutz examine the shards on the wall by a qassam rocket.

The Israeli Air Force launched nine anti-terror strikes in Gaza overnight and into Monday morning, targeting Gaza operatives continuing to fire missiles at civilian targets in Israel’s south.  The Gaza-based Islamic Jihad has stated it is not considering a ceasefire and will continue to attempt to kill Israelis, as Israel has refused to agree to cease targeting terror leaders, according to Channel 2 news.

Islamic Jihad also reported that the IDF succeeded in neutralizing 3 more terrorists during the night in operations targeting weapons storage facilities and four rocket-launching sites.

Of the 17 rockets fired into Israel, 6 were launched at Ashdod, with 5 being intercepted by the Iron Dome, the 6th falling in an open area.  Two Grad missiles landed north of Beersheba and two were fired at Gan Yavneh.  One rocket exploded outside a kindergarten in Eshkol, bringing the 4-day total to approximately 170.

Twenty terrorists have been killed in ongoing operations.

122mm Grad missiles have a range of 25 miles (40 kilometers), enabling them to reach major Israeli cities such as Ashdod, Sderot, Ofakim, Gedera, Ashkelon, Rehovot, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Gan Yavne, Netivot and Beersheba, all of which experienced another day of school cancellation by the Home Front Command.  Approximately 1 million Israelis – over 13% of the total national population – are estimated to be in the affected vicinities.  Israelis in those areas are being asked to stay close to reinforced shelters, and to stay indoors as much as possible.

The IDF posted video on YouTube of citizens in shelters as the Iron Dome missile defense system deployed against a missile launched at Beersheba.

On a tour of southern Israel on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised citizens that “we will continue to hit whoever plans to attack citizens of the State of Israel,” adding that home front defense would also be enhanced. Speaking at a ceremony welcoming Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo di Paola to Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that “those who attack our civilians will be punished,” and vowed that “the IDF will continue to protect Israeli citizens and will strike all those who rise to attack us.”  IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz postponed a trip this week to the US due to the situation.

Targeted missile launches against Israeli civilians began Friday after an IAF air strike killed two Arab terror leaders from the Popular Resistance Committee who were planning an attack on Israel via the border with Egypt – senior terror leader Zuhir Mussah Ahmed Kaisi and accomplice Mahmoud Ahmed Mahmoud Hanani.

According to the IDF, terrorist retaliatory attacks are being launched from Beit Lahiya, Jabaliya, Rafah, Gaza City, and El-Bureij.

However, an IDF spokesperson stated that injury and damage have been sustained since attacks began Friday.  On March 11, one rocket hit a school in Beersheba and another hit a parked car when the city’s Iron Dome battery malfunctioned.  Fifteen people were treated for shock, with heavy damage sustained to buildings and vehicles in the vicinity.  A chicken farm in the Ashkelon Regional Council was also heavily damaged.  On March 10, a horse was killed and a home near Ashdod damaged by direct rocket fire.  On March 9, four people were wounded, one severely.

Despite ongoing rocket attacks, the Erez Crossing from Israel into Gaza remains open for passengers and employees of international organizations, according to the IDF, with the Kerem Shalom crossing remaining open for the delivery of products into Gaza.

IDF Arrests Three Palestinians Trying to Infiltrate from Gaza

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Three Palestinians trying to infiltrate Israel from southern Gaza were arrested overnight by Israeli forces.

“Late last night, three men approached the border fence from southern Gaza to infiltrate into Israel. They were picked up by troops immediately after they crossed,” an IDF spokesperson said. “We found a fragmentation grenade on one of the men. They were detained and held for questioning.”

The IDF Spokesperson also reported Thursday that a rocket fired from Gaza hit an open area in the Eshkol region, causing no damage or injuries.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-arrests-three-palestinians-trying-to-infiltrate-from-gaza/2012/01/19/

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