A Qassam rocket fired by Palestinians in north Gaza on Friday landed in an open field near a western Negev community. A few hours later three more rockets were fired toward Israel; one landed near a kibbutz cafeteria, while the others landed in open fields in close proximity to another Negev kibbiutz. No injuries were reported in either incident, but severe damage was done to a kibbutz structure.
Kibbutz member Haim Yalin told Ynet, “It was a big miracle. The rocket landed 70 meters from the cafeteria and the grocery store, which was packed with dozens of people. The rocket flew above our heads and landed near the beauty parlor and cafeteria in the kibbutz. The beauty parlor was severely damaged.
“A woman was getting her hair done and it is a miracle she wasn’t harmed,” he said, “It was horrible; I don’t know how long these miracles will last.”
On Thursday Defense Minister Amir Peretz said in the weekly security assessment held in his Tel Aviv office that if the current trends in the Palestinian Authority continue and the moderates aren't strengthened: "Israel will deliver terrorism a powerful blow, a hard and painful blow."
The defense minister ordered the fortification process of the towns surrounding the Gaza Strip be accelerated, and instructed to move up the fortification of education institutions and to immediately fortify the psychological services building in Sderot that treats shock victims.
Peretz also decided to complete the fortification of kindergartens in private buildings that have yet to be fortified.
He later blasted the initiative of business mogul Arcadi Gaydamak, who organized and paid for hundreds of Sderot residents to drive to Eilat far away from the threat of Qassams. Peretz said that Israel will not allow philanthropists and wealthy people to take over the distress of the citizens.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday morning on his way from the United States that "there is no 'bang and then we're done'" in the war against the Qassam rockets.
"There are a lot of thoughts about how to deal with the Qassam firing. In fact, even after Operation Defensive Shield, terrorism continued in the West Bank. There is no one thing that can be done and then the Qassams stop," said Olmert.
Likewise, after the fatal Qassam strike on
Sderot, the IDF conceded that there is no definitive solution to the rockets and that the operations in the Gaza Strip in the past few months have been aimed at damage terrorist infrastructure and the Qassam system – from their manufacture and transport all the way down to the launching cells.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report