On Sunday evening, ambulances rolled in non-stop to three Haifa hospitals, after a fatal rocket barrage hit the city slightly before 8 p.m. Three people were killed and dozens were wounded after two rockets – one in the lower city and one in Wadi Nisnas – crashed into buildings.
Following the attack, city hospitals declared a mass casualty event and began receiving the injured. One woman arrived in critical condition, with Magen David Adom crews attempting to resuscitate her.
Dozens of residents, mainly Israeli Arabs, congregated at the entrances to the Rambam Medical Center seeking to check on their loved ones injured in the attack.
Some of those present condemned Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Shadi Mzawin and his sister, who arrived at the hospital to visit their sister, said: "How can it be that with all its might Israel is incapable of eliminating Hizbullah and finish it once and for all? How can it be that with al this force he succeeds to do this for us?"
House hit by rocket in Haifa (Photo: Ariel Bokovza)
Shadi, whose grandmother and grandfather were also injured in the attack, said police officers positions at the entrance to the emergency room refused him entrance because he swore at them.
"Half of my family and my neighborhood are here inside and they are not allowing me in although I am injured. I don't understand that. Do I have no rights? I am a citizen too and I pay taxes – grandma and grandpa are here and they are not letting me see them," said Shadi who was lightly injured in the legs.
'Hope Nasrallah gets a rocket between legs'
Shadi expressed anger at the government for the lack of shelters in the neighborhood. "I live in Wadi Nisnas and we have no shelters, we hardly have where to live, we have no where to go, we have nowhere to go, and our shelter is the toilet. There are no shelters at all."
"I hope Nasrallah gets a rocket between the legs for what he is doing to me here, for harming grandma and grandpa."
Yossi Landau, an MDA volunteer who arrived at one of the damaged buildings, said that the carnage was severe: "We have a difficult situation, an almost complete collapse of the building, and many injured outside of it. There were people trapped in the building but we succeeded in evacuating them and are working to disconnect the gas main in order to prevent leaks."
Landau recalled trying to save the woman killed by the attack. "I treated her, I performed CPR but she died anyway." According to him, the crowds are hindering the rescue operations. "Curious people are doing things you can't imagine. It's a very crowded area and it really disturbs us in our work."
'Lying on the ground in shock'
Dudu Jozeen, 8.5 years old, arrived at Rambam hospital with her mother, who suffered from shock.
"I was with my mother at her friend's house. We heard sirens but didn't know where to go and also there wasn't time because we immediately heard an explosion," she recounted.
"It was really scary. It was a really loud boom. My mother, Ibatisam, is hospitalized and I hope they'll release her soon," she said, in tears.
Damage caused by rocket (Photo: Mike Gordon)
A wounded man, Nazal Faisal, also arrived at Rambam. He told Ynet about the event: "I was in a restaurant and the siren went off only after the second rocket hit, so there was nothing to do. I went to my brother's nearby house and saw my friends, lying on the ground, in shock. Now some of them are in the hospital and some stayed home to help others who were injured."
Dozens of angry Haifa residents, whose family members were injured by the blast, raised a commotion outside Rambam's emergency room, after police forces forbade them to because of the crowding caused by the large number of patients. Some of the family members forced their way into the emergency room.
The hospital's spokesperson, David Ratner, explained: "We are treating a very large number of people and this is not the first time that such a situation has occurred. People want to enter the emergency room and we won't let them. That's why we have border guard and regular police forces here. There's nothing to be done in such cases. There are instincts that must be calmed. We can't work in the emergency room in such a fashion and this is why they will remain outside.
Moran Zelikovich contributed to the report