A Qassam rocket was fired from Gaza Monday morning and landed in the area of a Western Negev kibbutz, causing heavy damage to property in the local factory and to some houses. Several people were treated for shock on the scene.
The rocket landed near the house of Lior Arad, a kibbutz member. She told Ynet: "We heard the rocket explode and the alarm system go off. I don’t usually get too worried, but this time when we heard the windows shatter and felt the house shaking we ran to see how the kids were doing. We have a baby and a young child. "
Factory sustains heavy damages (Photo: Amir Cohen)
"One of the children was sleeping below the window and the glasses flew at him. Fortunately he wasn't hurt, but it was shocking. This is a very difficult experience, it took us a while to calm the baby down. Until today I was certain that I'd stay in the kibbutz, but now it's getting too close," she added.
Kibbutz Secretary-General Itzik Hassan said there are no shielded areas in the community and work to protect schools begun only recently.
"Safety rooms which are supposed to be connected to residencies have been in the kibbutz's garden for nine months and were brought by the Home Front Command, they are trailing and nothing has been done. Every time we try to check, they say things will be done as soon as possible. A month ago the Home Front Command Chief visited the kibbutz and he vowed that within a week they will connect them to houses," he explained.
Hamas military wing claims responsibility
Hamas' military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for Tuesday morning's attack.
Hamas gunmen have been leading the rocket attacks against Israel in recent weeks, but other organizations also take part in the Qassam fire, this despite President Mahmoud Abbas' harsh condemnation of the firing.
The armed groups have even demanded that Abbas apologize for his statement that the rocket fire causes more harm than good to the residents of the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinian factions stated again Tuesday that, "If the Israeli escalation continues in the coming weeks, we will start using longer-range rockets."
Notably, simultaneously to negotiations over a unity government, the different factions have recently been engaged in quiet talks on the possibility to resume the calm, although no concrete understandings have been reached so far.
Ali Waked contributed to the report