Rocket explodes near clinic in southern kibbutz
Four residents suffer from shock, as two Qassams fired from Gaza hit Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. One rocket lands near clinic, causing great damage; other falls near entrance to kibbutz. Several hours later, two rockets land in Sderot, one damages house in town
Two Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit a kibbutz in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council on Monday afternoon, one of them exploding near a clinic.
Four residents suffered from shock and were tended to by Magen David Adom paramedics. Another rocket landed at the entrance to the kibbutz.
Several hours later, two rockets landed in Sderot, one of them causing slight damage to a house in town. Another rocket landed in an open field in the area. The Color Red alert system failed to go off in all three cases.
The kibbutz houses are unfortified, and its residents demonstrated Sunday along with Sderot residents, demanding that their houses be reinforced.
Earlier, two additional rockets landed in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing, claimed responsibility for firing the rockets.
Ofer Lieberman, one of the kibbutz's residents, told Ynet, "The Color Red alert system was activated and we heard two very loud explosions. The rocket landed just several meters away from populated houses. Like we’ve said several times before, 10 meters right or left and we would be dealing with real casualties rather than with shattered windows.
"The kibbutz is not fortified and this is the most fired on kibbutz in the area. The number of rockets which landed here draws nowhere near any other place. We hope that at least the fortification problem will be solved soon."
Area hit by rocket (Photo: Zeev Trachtman, Sderot)
On Sunday, a Qassam rocket landed in an open field within the Merhavim Regional Council. No injuries or property damage were reported, but teams dispatched to pinpoint the landing site said that this was the first time the area was hit by rockets.
Residents of a nearby community reported hearing a louder than usual explosion as the rocket landed. One of the residents, Ovadia Morad, reported hearing rumors of an “improved longer range Qassam,” but these have not been confirmed by security officials.
“We are pretty used to hearing blasts and explosions coming from the Sderot area,” said Morad,”and we can even hear the numerous Color Red alerts. We usually don’t get overly excited about explosions.”
Earlier Sunday, five Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza towards the western Negev. No injuries or property damage were reported.
The ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert earmarked Sunday NIS 350 million (roughly $90 million) for the purpose of fortifying one third of the homes located up to 7 kilometers (about 4.5 miles) away from the Gaza Strip border.
The plan, expected to be approved by the government next Sunday, means that only 3,600 out of the total of 10,750 homes in the range defined as "dangerous" during Ariel Sharon's tenure will be fortified. The decision was taken despite the fact that at the opening of Sunday's session officials were talking about fortifying a total of 8,000 homes.
Ali Waked contributed to this report