August 13, 2018

As 180 Rockets Pound Israel, IAF Hits Scores Of Gaza Targets

Israeli jets bombed dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip as Palestinian terrorists fired more than 180 rockets and mortar shells into Israel in a fierce burst of violence overnight Wednesday (8th) and well into Thursday (9th), despite efforts to broker a truce to end months of simmering violence.

A Thai farm worker in her 20s sustained moderate to serious injuries in Israel’s Eshkol Regional Council when a rocket struck a packing facility there Thursday morning (9th).  Another employee was lightly hurt and more than 20 others were wounded in separate incidents.

The Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba issued a statement Thursday (9th) saying, “The woman’s condition has improved – she is conscious and breathing independently.  She is still hospitalized in the ICU. The other victim from the same incident has been released.”

Most of the rockets fired into Israel struck in open and unpopulated areas, with only a few hitting communities along the Gaza border.  Six projectiles exploded in the southern Israeli city of Sderot and one rocket directly hit a home in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted some 30 projectiles headed for populated areas.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius took to Twitter in light of the current violence to insist that “Israel has every right to defend itself.”  The Czech Republic’s President, Milos Zeman, also expressed support for Israel as rockets pounded its south by tweeting an Israeli flag and the word “solidarity.”



Sderot Residents Describe Desperate Dash To Bomb Shelters

Residents of the Israeli town of Sderot described Thursday (9th) the desperate dash to safety as 180 rockets, fired from Gaza, rained down on Israel.  Residents have 15 seconds from the moment the warning siren sounds to get themselves – and their families – into bomb shelters or reinforced rooms in their homes.

Sderot resident Etti Kramer told Hadashot TV how she and her husband dashed to get their seven children into their family’s reinforced room as they heard explosions around them.  “I ran and grabbed the baby. The rest of the children ran but didn’t arrive in time. We started to hear explosions and we continued getting the children into the reinforced room.  You have to choose which of your children to save. I grabbed the baby and the two-year-old and ran to the shelter.”

Yossi Lok said he had retreated to his reinforced room after the rocket alert siren sounded.  “I heard a huge explosion and saw a flash of fire. The neighbor cried out that he’d been hit.  I came down stairs and saw him really badly hurt, covered with blood. His home was on fire because his gas canister had been hit.”

Wave after wave of rocket attacks set off sirens throughout the night in the Hof Ashkelon, Sha’ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Eskol regions outside Gaza, sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters, where many bedded down with their families for the night.

On Thursday morning (9th) Israeli MK Yair Lapid said, “It is inconceivable that children in Sderot awoke in bomb shelters this morning, while Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar slept in his bed.  It is inconceivable that Hamas has changed the rules of the game, and that it fires the last shot.”



Beersheba Targeted By Grad Rocket For First Time Since 2014 War

A Grad rocket launched from the Gaza Strip struck a field north of Beersheba on Thursday afternoon (9th), setting off sirens in the southern city for the first time since the 2014 Gaza war and puncturing a ceasefire that lasted approximately two hours.

Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich said the rocket landed in an open area north of the city.  All residents were warned to keep away from the place of impact until sappers could be called to remove the rocket debris.

The attack against Beersheba marked a significant increase in the level of violence from the Gaza Strip.  Terrorist groups in Gaza have launched over 180 rockets and mortar shells since Wednesday evening (8th); however, these have been mainly directed at communities adjacent to the coastal enclave.  Beersheba is located 25 miles from Gaza.

This was the first attack against the city since the 2014 war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge.

The launch at Beersheba came some three hours after terror groups declared the current round of violence over.

The Israeli Air Force  launched a renewed offensive against Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip, Thursday evening (9th), hours after the Grad rocket landed near the city of Beersheba, hitting and leveling many  targets including a five-story building used by Hamas as its headquarters.



U.S. Envoy To Mideast Blasts Hamas For Igniting Conflict With Israel

Jason Greenblatt, assistant to President Donald Trump and Special Representative for International Negotiations, condemned Hamas for “subjecting people to the terrifying conditions of war again.”

“The Hamas regime is again launching rockets at Israeli communities.  Another night of terror & families huddling in fear as Israel defends itself,” he tweeted Thursday (9th).

“This is the Hamas regime’s choice.  Hamas is subjecting people to the terrifying conditions of war again,” he added.

A senior IDF officer told Ha’aretz that Israel is on the verge of a major military operation in Gaza.

“The end of another night of escalation is not in sight,” the unnamed officer said.  “Hamas chose to step away from the ceasefire arrangement and now it will pay the price for its violations over the past four months.  Hamas is about to be dealt a major blow for its decision.”

The officer did not rule out the possibility that a number of communities in the south situated up to four kilometers from the border – some 30,000 people – would be evacuated.



Swedish Christian Zionists To Sail To Israel On Solidarity Mission

Following Swedish pro-Palestinian activists’ failed attempt to reach Gaza by sea, a Christian supporter of Israel from Sweden announced he would take dozens of pro-Zionists to Israel on his yacht.

Stefan Abrahamsson on Thursday (9th) announced on Facebook that his yacht Elida, will set sail from Sweden on August 25 to Israel to show solidarity with the Jewish state and Middle East Christians.

“We want to break the silence of the severe persecution and cleansing of the Christian population that is taking place in this region,” he wrote.  “As the only democracy in the Middle East amid dictatorships, Israel welcomes us on this show of solidarity with human rights, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and fundamental democratic values.  In turn, we are taking a stand for the values that Israel stands for.”

On August 24, Abrahamsson will organize a send-off party at the Gothenburg marina from which his yacht, carrying about 40 activists, will sail for Herzliya, Israel.  Elida is expected to reach Israel in October and dock there for several weeks.