Photo: Gil Eliyahu
Sapper deals with rocket, Saturday morning
Photo: Gil Eliyahu
Rocket damages
Photo: Yaron Brenner

Tiberias attacked by Hizbullah rockets

Second rocket barrage hits northern city, lightly injuring one person; 31 people suffer from shock. Third barrage hits open areas north of city. Tiberias bombed for first time Saturday afternoon, all its beaches evacuated. Residents: 'City not prepared, we feel unprotected here'

Resort town under attack: Hizbullah fired several rocket barrages at the northern city of Tiberias on Saturday evening.


At around 6 p.m., five rockets began landing in the city one after the other. Some 31 people were hurt, including a man who was lightly injured after his house was directly hit by a rocket. About thirty people suffered from shock.


All the injured were taken to the Poria Hospital in Tiberias for medical treatment. Later, at around 7:25 p.m., a second barrage landed north of Tiberias.


About 54 people were injured by Katyusha rockets in Tiberias throughout Saturday, including seven who were wounded by Shrapnel. The rest suffered from shock.


An inquiry revealed that five rockets hit the city, one of them landing near the Pagoda restaurant on the shores of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). The restaurant is closed on Saturday, so there were no injuries.

Tiberias hit by rockets Saturday evening (Photo: Doron)


Magen David Adom crews, fire fighters and police forces deployed in the rocket landing areas. Many residents gathered to watch the wreckage, but quickly left the area following a police announcement that warned of another Katyusha barrage expected to hit the area. residents were asked to leave the place and enter secure zones.


Ilan Shukrun, an eyewitness, was about 100 meters (328 feet) away from the place hit by the rocket.


"We heard a terrible noise. My children started crying, it was terrifying. We keep on hearing about falls in Kiryat Shmona. Maybe this is the time to support the residents there. No one was prepared for it," he said.


Shukrun also said that the bomb shelter infrastructure in Tiberias was not prepared to contain residents during warnings.


"The residents have not been prepared. Most of the shelters are being used as storerooms. We feel we have no protection here," he said.


The Azablos family members, who live near one of the houses that was directly hit by a Katyusha rocket, complained that there was no shelter for the area's residents to use.


Many of the residents were angry at the Tiberias mayor, who said in an interview following the first rocket barrage in the afternoon that there are enough bomb shelters and that the infrastructure for the residents was ready.


Eli Abu Hatzeira said: "We have no bomb shelter, so we take our place behind a wall inside the house when we hear the warnings."


The second Katyusha barrage on Tiberias occurred when residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood were in synagogues.


One of the residents said: "In spite of the Katyusha barrage that landed in the afternoon we did not imagine that it will also reach our quiet neighborhood."


Usually, the residents said, there are a lot of children and families in the area, who did not arrive following the first rocket barrage.


In another neighborhood in the city, in which a Katyusha rocket landed between two apartment buildings, dozens of the residents went out and protested, saying that they were not afraid. Some of the residents were in need of medical treatment due to anxiety and fear.


The Katyusha barrages enraged some of the city's resident: "It's time for the government to understand that we must pay them back."


'Katyusha hit a place where children usually play'


The dog of one of the families living in a building that was directly hit by a rocket was seriously injured in the first Katyusha barrage on the city. He was treated by a veterinarian.


"It's a miracle that my children were no hurt. Every Saturday we build a swimming pool on the balcony outside, but this time, because we are renovating, the children were at home and the Katyusha's shrapnel fell exactly on the spot where the pool is placed every Saturday, Niva Liani told Ynet.


Liani was also angry: "It's about time that once and for all we show them who we are, and then maybe it will be quiet."


"We have to bomb them in like kind and not bombard some poor headquarters and say that we bombed," said Dikla Abadi. "We have to hit their people, just like here Tiberias residents in the middle of their Shabbat dinner are shaking from fear. It’s time they also start to shake."


Other residents were also angry: "We have to hit them hard. It's impossible that our life routine is hurt, that people are making their way to a synagogue and a Katyusha falls at a neighborhood. We have to teach them a lesson."


"Our country has the abilities and it should use them and not fear what the world might say about us hurting their citizens. They are doing the same thing to us and it's important that the world knows it," said Zion, who lives in the city.


Tiberias' residents found it difficult to get used to the new reality.


"We can't believe how Kiryat Shmona's residents have been living like this for years. This has never happened to us. We don’t know how to deal with it and we have no intention of starting to get used to it," resident who arrived at the Katyusha's landing site said.


"We always said that this would not happen to us. We offered our relatives from the Krayot to come and stay here, and in the end we are being bombed," Sara, a city resident, said.


In the meantime, Tiberias' residents were called to spend the night in secured zones.


Additional developments:


  • Safed and Kiryat Shmona were also bombarded at around 7 p.m. Rescue services were checking whether anyone was injured in the attack. Additional Katyusha rockets hit an open area north of Tiberias and the Amiad Junction in the Upper Galilee. Firefighters were dispatched to the area to put out a fire that broke out in the place.


  • Two Katyusha rockets hit Kibbutz Sde Nehemia and Kibbutz Amir in the Upper Galilee at around 7:30 p.m. One rocket landed at the entrance to the Tafnukim factory and started a fire. There were no reports of injuries or damage.


  • IDF data revealed that the largest number of Katyusha rockets so far has hit the city of Safed. About 34 rockets hit Safed in the past few days, while 24 rockets fell in Nahariya.


  • Lebanese sources reported that the IDF struck ports in Beirut and Tripoli. The Israeli army also attacked Hizbullah targets in south Beirut.


  • Three Patriot batteries, aimed at intercepting ballistic missiles, were deployed in Haifa. Patriot missiles were stationed across the country for the last time in 2003 during the Iraq War. IDF sources said that the batteries’ deployment is the result of “an evaluation of the situation."


Neta Sela contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 07.15.06, 20:03
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