Qassam rocket (Archive photo)
Photo: AP

6 Qassams fired at western Negev

One rocket lands near strategic facility, other falls next to IDF base; no injuries reported. Meanwhile, southern residents object to decision to fortify IDF bases, leave them without necessary protection

Six Qassam rocket were fired Thursday afternoon from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israel. One of the rockets landed near a strategic facility, while another one fell outside the IDF base of Zikim. Shrapnel flew toward a nearby complex soldiers had occupied during the pullout.


There were no reports of injuries or damage.


The Red Dawn alert system was activated several times within a number of minutes. One of the rockets landed at sea.


IDF officials noted that operations against the Qassam threat will continue and that there is no plan to lift the leg from the gas pedal.


An army official said: "We must not make a mistake thinking that a few days of peace on our part mean that the operation has been stopped. Although there is a certain drop in the number of Qassams, there have still been several launchings in recent days."


"We will continue operating according to the new policy outlined by IDF Southern Command Head Yoav Galant," the official added.


The IDF's air strikes on the Gaza Strip were reduced in the past two weeks. In two incidents, Israel Air Force aircrafts fired at terror targets, but there were no casualties among the terrorists.


On Thursday, the heads of the regional forums in the south decided to reinforce their protest activities following recent publications on the fortification of IDF basis. Yom Tov Turgeman, chairman of the parents forum in the area of Karmiya, Zikim and Yad Mordechai, said that the decision to fortify the IDF bases and leave the schools in the area unprotected was severe.


"Some 800 students in the Yad Mordechai schools have been left unprotected. The same takes place in many places, and this is grave and hard to understand," he said.


'How are we supposed to feel?'


"The Southern Command head promised in a meeting we had with him that these buildings would be fortified soon. We hear, for example, that they will be fortifying a structure as small as a caravilla for tens of thousands of shekels, and we regret that," he added.


Alon Schuster, head of the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, estimated that the fortification of education institutions would be completed by the end of next year. He also said that he finds the decision to only fortify the bases hard to understand.


"How are the residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz supposed to feel without any fortification with the fortified base near them?" he asked.


On Tuesday morning, a Katyusha rocket fired at the western Negev community of Nativ Haasara struck a chicken coop, killing thirty chickens, and damaging the community's greenhouse.


The rocket fell on a hilltop opposite one of the coops belonging to a resident. Shrapnel struck the coop facing the hilltop and the adjacent greenhouse. A pipe bringing water to the coop was also hit.


IDF sappers arrived at the scene after the rocket fell in order to check the type of rocket. Following an investigation the IDF determined that the rocket fired was a Grad-type Katyusha rocket.


The Katyusha rocket, initially thought to be a Qassam, which was launched from the rabbles of the evacuated community of Dugit, is 122 millimeter in diameter and carried 6 kilograms of explosives (13 pounds).


Hanan Greenberg contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 05.18.06, 14:06
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