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Grad missile in Ashkelon Photo: Avi Roccah
Grad missile in Ashkelon Photo: Avi Roccah
 
Great damage Photo: Avi Roccah
Great damage Photo: Avi Roccah
 
 

Heavy rocket fire riddles western Negev

(Video) At least 50 Qassam and Grad rockets fired at Israel since Friday night. Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon takes in dozens of of people injured in barrage

Yael Branovsky
Latest Update: 03.01.08, 23:46 / Israel News

VIDEO - Twenty-two residents of Sderot and Ashkelon were transported to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for treatment Saturday after being injured by the rocket salvo on the two southern cities.

 

One Ashkelon resident was moderately injured, six were lightly injured and ten suffered from shock. Five resident of Sderot were treated for shock.

 

At least 50 rockets were launched at Israel since Friday night, some landing in open areas in Sderot and the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council.

 

Video: Infolive

Saturday afternoon saw four Qassam rockets were fired from northern Gaza towards the western Negev; two landed in a Sderot neighborhood, causing a local gas leak. Four people suffered shock.

 

Two Qassam rockets were later fired at Ashkelon. Magen David Adom emergency services reported of one man suffering shrapnel injuries.

  

Three people were lightly injured Saturday morning by shrapnel in a Grad rocket attack on the city of Ashkelon. Three rockets were fired at the city, causing lightly injuries and property damage. Several people suffered from shock.

  

The last barrage was fired at around 2:30 pm, with two rockets landing in open areas in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. An hour and a half earlier, three rockets hit open areas in the western Negev. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

 

The Color Red alert system was activated in Ashkelon shortly after 5 am. Shortly afterwards, three rockets landed in the area – two within a neighborhood and a third one in an open area.

 

Three of the city's residents, two of them children, were injured by shrapnel. They were evacuated in light condition to Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center.

 

Valentina Spivak, the two children's grandmother, arrived at the Barzilai Medical Center. She told Ynet that her grandchildren were injured in the head.

 

"We slept in the same apartment, the children sleeping in my room. I live with my daughter and grandchildren, and only I heard the Color Red, but I thought it wouldn’t land near our house. I don’t care what happens to me, but I am worried about my grandchildren and daughter," she said.


Damage caused by rocket (Photo: Avi Roccah)

 

She added that "my daughter will have to decide whether to leave Ashkelon, but economically I don’t think it will be possible. My sister lives in Sderot and suffers from Qassams constantly. I thought it would never reach Ashkelon. This is simply a nightmare."

 

'Why did they throw Qassams at us?'

Nine-year-old Lika Pismeni, who was lightly injured in the rocket attack along with her nine-year-old brother Almog, said, "I don’t understand why they are throwing Qassams at us."

 

The children's mother, Inga, said that she did not hear the Color Red alert system before the house was hit.

 

"The little boy started crying. He was sleeping next to the window and the pieces of glass flew at him. It was very difficult for me to calm him down because he was full of blood."

 

According to Inga, she and her children had already experienced Qassam rockets in her aunt's house in Sderot.

 

"I am familiar with the Qassam phenomenon from my aunt who lives in Sderot. It's a matter of luck. We will continue our life as usual."

 

She added that her house had no fortified room. "In case of a Color Red alert, we have no secured area. We have a bomb shelter, but it's neglected and unorganized," she said.

 

A house in the city was directly hit by a rocket, sustaining great damage. The rocket hit the living room of an elderly couple on the sixth floor. The two, Silvia and Luba Greenberg, who were sleeping at the time of the attack, were not injured.

 

"We were sleeping and heard a 'boom.' We didn’t understand what happened, and then realized that it fell here. We never believed it would reach us. This is a real miracle," Greenberg said. The couple immigrated to Israel from Argentina five years ago.

 

Several people suffered from shock and were tended to by MDA paramedics. One rocket hit a parked car, which caught fire.

 

Windowpanes shattered

Asher and Hagar Dvash, who live several meters from the place hit by one of the rockets, told Ynet, that their house's windowpanes were shattered as a result of the hit.

 

"Our daughter heard the Color Red, got out of bed, and came to us. Luckily she was not injured, because the window was shattered and the shrapnel flew on her pillow. We didn’t manage to get up as the missile landed four seconds later," Hagar recounted.

 

Simultaneously, six rockets fired since midnight Friday landed in open areas in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

 

On Friday, Palestinian gunmen fired 16 rockets towards the western Negev. Two of the rockets which landed in the southern town of Sderot lightly injured a woman.

 

One of the rockets landed in a field not far from where hundreds of Israelis were hiking, including Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset members touring the rocket-battered region.

 

First Published: 03.01.08, 07:17

 

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