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Photo: Uri Yaari
Rocket strike (Archive photo)
Photo: Uri Yaari
Rocket lands near kindergarten
Chanukah miracle? Qassam rocket fired at Israeli kibbutz Monday afternoon lands near preschool during party; no injuries reported, but local residents upset at government inaction
Chanukah miracle? A Chanukah party attended by kindergarten children and their parents in kibbutz Sa'ad was disrupted Monday after the activation of the "Red Dawn" alert system was followed by an exploding Qassam rocket nearby.

 

No injuries were reported in the latest rocket attack. Another Qassam landed Monday afternoon south of Ashkelon.

 

"This was a big miracle, because the Qassam rocket landed at a very small distance from the kindergarten during the Chanukah party," community director Sarah Evron said. "We must recall that kindergartens and all other educational facilities at Sa'ad are not fortified. Obviously, after (the attack) the party ended."

 

This was not the first time a Qassam rocket lands at the southern kibbutz, but up to now residents asked that the community's name not be published by the media. However, the residents are apparently sick and tired of the long wait for fortification, anger that only intensified Monday after fortification work began at a nearby IDF base.

 

"We've been waiting long months for a solution in terms of fortification. It feels as though soldiers who are not protected immediately prompt fortification work, but we must remember we have children growing up here on the border," Evron said. "In our view, we must first protect children and only then soldiers."

 

Improved rockets

 

The rocket fire presents the security establishment with an old-new dilemma, that is, whether to put into action the plan to create a "security strip" in the northern Gaza Strip in order to curb rocket fire.

 

Relative quiet prevailed in the area in recent days, and the harsh weather conditions also contributed to the calm state of affairs, with the IDF refraining from taking any action. However, the renewed rocket attacks Monday coupled with improved weather conditions could lead the army to offer a response and adopt new measures.

 

Earlier, Israeli decision-makers were presented with an additional threat in the form of a message by the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, which claimed that they possessed "Grad" type rockets with an improved range.

 

A senior al-Aqsa Brigades member, abu-Fadi, said that "if Israel sets up a security zone in the northern Gaza Strip our group will not sit idly by. We will use these weapons."

 

He added: "It cause us to strike all of these settlements and Israeli communities in the area. We have in our hands a list of targets, and we can strike the enemy. Then the occupation government will be the big loser of its actions, and our determination to free all of our land from Zionist occupation will only be strengthened."

 


First published: 26.12.05, 18:18
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