Qassam lands near kibbutz dining hall
Rocket launched from northern Gaza lands near Yad Mordechai's dining room while members were dining at the place. No injuries reported in incident, but building sustains damages. Palestinian sources say al-Quds Brigades behind strike. IDF shells northern Gaza in response
No injuries were reported, but some damage was caused to the building.
Palestinian sources reported that the al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad's military wing, are behind the strike.
In response to the attack, IDF forces began firing artillery shells at the area in northern Gaza from which the rocket was launched.
The kibbutz's dining hall was crowded Friday evening, when kibbutz members were having their Shabbat dinner with guests and relatives. The rocket landed shortly after 8:30 p.m. in the area between the dining hall and the community's gymnasium, causing a loud explosion and shattering glasses in the vicinity.
Nehama Man, a kibbutz member, said that "Qassams usually fell in orchards or near the kibbutz, so we didn't really feel them. This evening it happened at the heart of the kibbutz on a Shabbat evening. The dinner was already over and people were calmly sitting and talking to each other when we heard a terrible explosion. Everybody ran outside to see what happened and then we saw the remnants of Qassam in the yard."
Other kibbutz members said that while they were accustomed to hearing explosions and firing from both sides on a daily basis, during the holiday things were quiet. "Guests residing in central Israel who came to visit said they came to experience what they were told about, but all they could hear was silence. Only this morning did the loud explosions resume, and this evening we saw the response," a resident of the place said.
The community's security chief Haim Madar said that the damage caused to the dining hall will be fixed by Sunday.
Yad Mordechai is not equipped with security rooms, and the residents received no instructions on how they should act should more rockets land in the kibbutz.
Army escalates war on Qassams
On Friday the IDF shelled areas in the Strip from which terror cells have been firing rockets at Israel. Four Qassams were launched at the western Negev region from Gaza Thursday, but all rockets landed in Palestinian territory.
The army has recently escalated its operations against Qassam launchers. An IDF shell landed this week on a house in the town of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, killing a Palestinian girl and wounding 12 of her family members, including her eight-month pregnant mother who was critically injured.
In wake of the deadly strike, army sources said they regretted hurting civilians, but stated it was the terror organizations who were forcing Israel to fire near populated areas.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report