Photo: Amir Cohen
Sderot resident inspects damage caused by Qassam
Photo: Amir Cohen

2 Qassams land in residential areas

Resident injured as Qassams land in Sderot, kibbutz in western Negev; Palestinian eyewitnesses say IDF helicopters hovering over northern Gaza

A Qassam rocket fired from the northern Gaza Strip on Friday evening landed in a residential area in Sderot. A resident was said to have been lightly injured by shrapnel, and a handful others were treated for shock. 


The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes at a time when the Israeli government is split over whether to launch a large-scale military operation in Gaza in response to ongoing Palestinian violations of a ceasefire.


Earlier, a Qassam rocket fired from the northern Gaza Strip on Friday landed near a house in a kibbutz in the western Negev.


Eyewitnesses said the blast shattered few windows. No injuries were reported. Palestinian sources said Israeli army helicopters are hovering over the northern Gaza Strip.


The head of the Sha'ar Hanegev Council, Alon Shuster, said: "The Israeli government is disconnected from reality. It refuses to fortify houses in Sha'ar Hanegev and in communities near Gaza. This at a time when rockets fall on us on a daily basis and while military escalation is expected any minute."


A kibbutz resident who lives near the landing site, Ilan Brodsky, told Ynet his windows were shattered by the rocket. "For the meantime I will seal everything with cardboard to avoid the cold whether," he said.

Kibbutz official Avi Kadush said residents have been instructed to remain indoors for fear of further attacks.


"There are no fortified areas here, so they should at least be behind their houses' walls," he said.


A rocket fired at Israel Friday morning landed in a open area near Sderot.


On Thursday evening, two Qassam rockets landed in Sderot. One of the rockets landed near a school, while the other fell at the heart of town. Several people suffered from shock, and two complained of earaches and were evacuated to the Barzilay Hospital in Ashkelon.


A youth movement after-school activity was taking place inside the community center at the time the rocket struck.


One of the workers at the community center told Ynet that "the children who attend after-school classes were at the community center at the time the Qassam landed. We assembled them afterwards."


The rocket caused some damage to the school located next to the community center: Windshields were shattered and the building sustained slight damages.


The al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad's military wing, claimed responsibility for the shooting.


Odelia Peretz, a Sderot resident, told Ynet, "The alarm went off and we heard a very loud explosion."


Her brother Gal, who was close to the place where the rocket landed, said: "We were driving and suddenly heard the Color Red alert. We ran quickly to the community center and stood close to the wall. I looked up to see where the rocket will fall, I saw a flare and then heard a blast. It was really frightening, we were thrown against the wall and the Qassam landed right behind us, on a basketball court next to the community center and the school."


Fire continues 


Kobi Cohen, another witness, described the attack: "There was a huge explosion. The Qassam landed in the community center's basketball court. There were no children in the area."


The recent attack brings the number of rockets fired at Israel since Wednesday noon to 15.

Three Qassam rockets were fired at Israel Thursday morning, following seven rockets launched Wednesday.


Two of the rockets fired Thursday landed in Palestinian territory, and one landed in Israel.


Ali Waked contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 12.22.06, 19:12
 new comment
This will delete your current comment