Qassam lands near IDF base in Negev; 6 soldiers suffer from shock
Rocket fired by Palestinians in Gaza lands in Kibbutz Zikim area; female soldiers stationed nearby suffer from shock, state of alert declared at all nearby army bases; few minutes prior to attack Qassam lands in open field north of Sderot
Six female soldiers suffered from shock when a Qassam fired from the Gaza Strip Tuesday night landed near an IDF position in the Kibbutz Zikim area of the western Negev.
One of the soldiers was evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center, while the rest were treated at the scene. Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
A state of alert was declared at all nearby army bases, while security forces began scouring the area in search of the rocket's exact landing site.
A few minutes prior to the attack another Qassam fired in Sderot's direction landed in an open field north of the city. No injuries or damage were reported.
Several residents demanded a thorough examination of the "Color Red" alert system, which did not sound during the recent attack. "We must keep in mind that this system saves lives," one resident said, "on several occasions people's lives were saved because they entered a secure room after hearing the siren."
Some three months ago a Qassam rocket landed inside the IDF base in Zikim, injuring no less than 67 soldiers, four of them severely; 25 of the soldiers who were injured in that attack have yet to return to activity. However, it was reported that those who sustained severe injuries are recuperating.
Despite the attack, the army decided not to evacuate the base in Zikim. According to army officials, the base has undergone a comprehensive fortification plan in the past two years that included providing the troops with helmets and bullet-proof vests and placing hollow concrete blocs across the base, to be used as sheltered areas during attacks.
Shmulik Hadad contributed to this report