Photo: GPO
Northern Galilee region
Photo: GPO
Photo: AP
Qassam rocket (Archive photo)
Photo: AP

Rockets hit Sderot, Galilee

Chicken coop damaged, high alert declared in North after rocket lands in Galilee community; less than an hour later, Qassam rocket hits southern town of Sderot. No injuries reported in attacks

Post-pullout rocket offensive? A rocket fired from Lebanon landed around 11 a.m. Thursday near a chicken coop in the community of Margaliot, located in the northern Galilee region.


No injuries were reported in the strike but the chicken coop was badly damaged and some of the chickens were hurt in the attack. The IDF promptly raised the alert level in the north of the country in the wake of the attack.


About an hour later, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in residential neighborhood in the southern town of Sderot, prompting the activation of the "Red Dawn" alert system. Army officials said the Palestinians fired two rockets, but one landed in Palestinian territory.


The rocket that hit Sderot landed in an open area and caused no injuries or damage.


Sderot resident Rina Mor-Yosef told Ynet her children were outside when she heard the loud explosion and blaring sirens.


"I rushed out to look for my children, who completely panicked," she said. "This is much worse than before because somehow we got used to the quiet and suddenly you hear the sirens."


"I don't know how I'll be sending my children to school next week, the schools are not reinforced," Mor-Yosef added. "I ask Sharon what we proposed before, to evacuate us from here. As it is, all the apartments on my street were put up for sale. We just can't sit here quietly and wait for the Qassam fire."


'Government is silent'


Following the rocket attack, Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal told Ynet: "I want to ask the government of Israel, where is the appropriate response it promises after the disengagement in case of Qassam attacks? I'm not hearing anything from any government source, not even a response."


"Today they fired a Qassam on Sderot, a rocket was fired in the North, and last night someone was stabbed to death in Jerusalem," Moyal said. "Those are quite a few incidents for 24 hours and I'm not hearing a government response. We estimated this would be the state of affairs following the pullout and to our regret this scenario is materializing."


Earlier, security officials estimated a mortar shell landed in the north, but a further examination revealed a rocket was fired. The IDF promptly went on high alert in the North while military officers were called in to examine the shooting site.


Meanwhile, senior Lebanese security officials confirmed two rockets were fired at Israel but said the second rocket landed in Lebanese territory.


'Tomorrow people could be hurt' 


Ephraim Binyamini, who owns the damaged chicken coop, told Ynet he was standing with a friend near the landing site when he heard a huge blast and saw smoke.


"Several minutes later we saw the damage," he said. "Today it's a chicken coop being hit, but tomorrow people could be hurt."


Meanwhile, local official Benny Ben Muchtar said he views the incident as an unusual one-time occurrence.


"We are certainly returning to routine and there's no reason to worry," he said. "I trust Northern Command officers will take care of the matter."


In June, one IDF soldier was killed and four others were hurt in two separate incidents on the northern border. That incident started after an elite force spotted a Hizbullah cell that entered Israel and fired at the terrorists.


A short while later, more than 20 mortar shells were fired at Israel, killing the soldier and wounding the others.


Shmulik Haddad, Hanan Greenberg, Ahiya Raved, and AP contributed to the story


פרסום ראשון: 08.25.05, 11:51
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