Does anyone remember ceasefire? Two teenagers injured in their legs Tuesday evening by shrapnel of a Qassam rocket.
One of the youths, Adir Basad, sustained critical wounds and was rushed into surgery. The other teen, Matan Cohen, was moderately to severely injured.
Three people suffered from shock and several cars and houses in the area were damaged.
The al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing, claimed responsibility for firing the rocket, which the group said was done in light of "the truce violations by Israel."
Qassam in the heart of Sderot:
The two 14-year-old boys are ninth graders at the Netiv Hayeshivati school in Sderot. Matan's uncle, Nir Ohanan, told Ynet, "They are good friends. They were studying for an exam together, which was apparently supposed to be held tomorrow.
"It appears that they left toward the house, and then the rocket exploded and hit them. Matan was hurt in his right foot and his friend sustained much more serious wounds. We are here, waiting at the Barzilai hospital for the hospital's updates."
Car hit by Qassam (Photo: Tsafir Abayov)
Ohana said that "this is the third time Matan escapes death by a Qassam rocket. The first time the rocket landed in their home and almost completely destroyed the house, the second time the rocket landed right next to him, and this time the rocket hit him. We hope for the best. Unfortunately, this situation has become the routine, like everything that happens here in Sderot. The saddest thing is that no one knows what is happening here."
Matan's aunt said, "This morning a Qassam rocket landed next to my house at 6:40 a.m., and all the glasses were shattered. I did not believe that later such a rocket would hit my nephew. The children were simply studying for a Gemara exam at Matan's school and he went out to walk them. I hope this Gemara safeguards them."
Special security consultation
Following the incident and the ongoing violations of the ceasefire, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to hold an urgent security consultation Wednesday morning, before his meeting with the Egyptian foreign minister.
The prime minister will ask to hear the security officials, but it seems that he will seek to continue the restraint policy. Defense Minister Amir Peretz, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, Shin Bet officials and other security officials are expected to take part in the discussion.
Qassam landing site (Photo: Amir Cohen)
Following the fire, Magen David Adom emergency forces were dispatched to the area and attended to the injured, who were then evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for further treatment.
"We heard the Color Red alert system and all ran to the secure area," said Sarit Belisha who lives opposite the place where the rocket landed. My husband was just entering the garage when he saw the two teenagers standing on the other side."
"He tried to shout at them to run, when the explosion was heard and he ran to take shelter. When he came out, he saw them lying on the ground, injured in their legs, and people had started arriving at the place and attending to them till the ambulances got there. Our children have been sleeping in the secure room for a long time now, and tonight it will definitely be difficult for them to fall asleep."
A security officer who arrived at the area said that it was a difficult sight: "The two youths were writhing in pain and screaming. The rocket landed really close to them, and there was a puddle of blood beneath them. It was a shocking sight."
Many residents reported hearing loud explosions across the city as the rocket landed there.
Liat, 27, a Sderot resident, told Ynet: "At two minutes to nine there was a loud explosion, immediately after the Color Red alert system was sounded.
"This is the third time Qassams land here today and it has become the routine again. We had two quiet weeks and now everything has returned to normal. We really thank the prime minister for this."
About five years ago, Liat married a man who studied at a yeshiva in Sderot, and the two moved to the city.
"We have been here since the rockets began, suffering as usual," she said.
Seven rockets, one near strategic facility
Seven Qassam rockets were fired at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip since Tuesday morning. One of the rockets landed near a strategic facility in Ashkelon's industrial zone, not far from a place where hazardous materials are stored.
Another Qassam rocket landed near the same area on Monday.
An employee at the facility told Ynet following the attack, “Just like yesterday, at exactly the same hour, we heard an explosion, but this time it was much louder. An alarm was sounded in the area after the security officers received word of the incoming rocket by beeper and we proceeded to enter secure rooms. After the fall there were attempts to locate the exact landing site.”
In the afternoon, at around 1 p.m., another rocket landed in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The al-Quds Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack on Ashkelon, saying it fired a mid-range Quds-3 type rocket.
The group also claimed responsibility for the attack on Sderot earlier in the day.
A statement issued by the organization following the fire directed at Sderot said that "one of the armed-wing’s cells succeeded in launching two advanced Quds-3 rockets toward the settlement of Sderot in as a response to the Zionists' crimes and violations against the Palestinian people."
The announcement also said that "there will be no security for the Sderot residents unless there is security for the residents of the West Bank."