Rocket hits Beersheba
Photo: AP
Beersheba under attack; 'special situation' expanded
Terrorists fire more rockets at Israel's largest southern city Wednesday evening; meanwhile, Defense Minister Barak orders 'special situation on home front' status to be expanded to 40-kilomter radius

Israel's largest southern city under fire: Rocket alert sirens were activated in Beersheba Wednesday evening as terrorists from Gaza fired more rockets at the southern city. Residents reported hearing two explosions; there were no reports of injuries or damages.


The siren was activated around 10 pm, prompting local residents to take cover. However, many locals complained that they did not hear the siren ahead of the explosions. The rockets are believed to have landed outside the city.


Earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered all communities in a 40km (25 miles) range of the Gaza Strip be placed under a "special situation in the home front" status.


Among the cities now included in the order are Beersheba, Gedera and Yavne. The order allows security forces to assume municipal jurisdiction over the cities.

Barak's order will remain in effect for 48 hours, until the decision is approved by government ministers. The defense minister reiterated his called for citizens to "closely adhere to the Home Front's instructions."


The "special situation" order grants the security establishment the power to close plants, call off public events, and undertake other civil duties, in essence taking an active part in managing the daily life in various communities alongside local politicians.


The decision follows Hamas rocket attacks on Beersheba, Israel's largest southern city. In the last 24 hours, several rockets fired by Gaza Strip terrorists landed in the city. One of them landed at a school, which fortunately was not in session at the time.


Hanan Greenberg contributed to the story


פרסום ראשון: 12.31.08, 22:10
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