Qassam rocket (archives)
Photo: Roy Idan

32 rockets fired at southern Israel

Grad missiles strike Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Sderot; one hits empty kindergarten, causing heavy damage. Nine people lightly injured, several people suffer shock. Earlier, a number of rockets hit western Negev

Rocket fire continues: A Grad rocket hit an empty kindergarten in the port city of Ashdod on Monday afternoon. An air raid siren sounded in Ashdod and Ashkelon at around 3:20 pm. Several people suffered shock, but there were no injuries. The place was heavily damaged.


David Nahaisi, a resident of the city, parked his car across the street from the kindergarten when he heard the siren. "I ran to my friend and a few other people who were standing there. I shouted, 'Get in the shelters' but they said, 'There's no way it will fall here'. After I pushed them all inside we heard the loud explosion.


"It shook the whole building and then we saw the smoke opposite us in the kindergarten," Nahaisi added. "I guess that my car was damaged too, I just can't get near it now. It was a real miracle. I'm all trembling, I was standing there just a few minutes ago."

Damaged Ashdod kindergarten (photo: Itay Trabelsi)


On Monday morning, a Grad rocket exploded in an open area in the Hevel Yavne Regional Council, east of Ashdod. There were no reports of injuries or damage. The rocket landed about 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) from the Gaza Strip.


Shortly afterwards, two Grad missiles exploded in Ashkelon. One landed near a city neighborhood, lightly damaging the pavement. The other hit an open area. At the same time, a mortar shell exploded in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

Area hit by missile in Ashkelon (Photo: Avi Cohen)


The rocket fire continues in the late morning hours as well. An air raid siren was sounded in Ashdod, Ashkelon and Sderot at around 11:50 am. Five Grad rockets and a Qassam rocket landed in open areas across the western Negev and the southern coastal plane. Two landed in the Sderot area, two in the Sdot Negev Regional Council and one near Ashdod.


Several people suffered shock in Sderot. Five rockets landed in open area in the Eshkol Regional Council.


An air raid siren sounded in Ashkelon at 1:15 pm, followed by a major explosion. Two rockets exploded inside the city. Nine people were lightly injured, a building was lightly damaged and several people suffered shock.


One of the residents of the house hit in Ashkelon said, "We managed to get to the fortified room and there was a major explosion. All the windows were shattered. We only finished renovating the kitchen yesterday and sent our little boy to Jerusalem. We were lucky he wasn't home."


Several minutes later, two missiles exploded in open areas in Beersheba. There were no injuries, but several people suffered from shock.  


Another rocket exploded in an open area in Ashkelon at around 1:40 pm, without causing injuries or damage. One more rocket hit an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council.  


Five Qassam rockets exploded in open areas in the western Negev on Monday morning, without causing injuries or damage.


The Color Red alert system was activated in the Sderot area at around 7 am. Shortly afterwards, a rocket was found in an open area within the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. Security forces located two additional Qassam duds that landed in open spaces in the Sdot Negev Regional Council.


Less than an hour later, two Qassam rockets exploded in open areas within the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.


Monday evening, around 8:30 pm a Grad rocket landed in an open area in Ashkelon, with no reports of damage or injuries. Shortly afterwards three Qassam rockets were fired from the northern Gaza Strip at the Negev.


One landed in an open field in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, and two others landed in Eshkol Regional Council, in both cases no injuries or damage were caused. And later Monday night another rocket was fired at Ashkelon, also causing no damage or injuries.

Rocket launched from Strip (Photo: AFP)


The Israel Air Force struck some 30 targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday night, including a mosque, a suspected antiaircraft machine gun and several tunnels on the Philadelphi Route.


The Navy attacked posts belonging to Hamas' naval force and a bunker where Grad missiles were being stored.


An IDF soldier was evacuated from the Gaza Strip overnight after being lightly to moderately injured. He was rushed to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for medical treatment.


Two soldiers moderately injured during the fighting in Gaza were released from the Rabin Medical in Petah Tikva on Monday morning. Three troops who were wounded in the same incident remain hospitalized and underwent surgery Sunday night.


Ilana Curiel, Tova Dadon, Hanan Greenberg and Meital Yasur-Beit Or contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 01.05.09, 08:06
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