Iron Dome at work Friday night
Photo: Avi Rokach

Iron Dome intercepts Grad over Ashkelon

South prepares for grim night as rocket fire continues unabated, with 17 rockets, additional mortars fired throughout Friday. Airstrikes in Gaza continue to target PRC terror group, which threatens 'resistance until martyrdom'

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a Grad rocket fired from Gaza at Ashkelon Friday evening, at around 10 pm, after two Qassam rockets exploded in Eshkol Regional Council.


Altogether, terrorists fired 17 rockets and a number of mortar shells at Israel on Friday. No injuries or damage were reported.


Escalation of violence in south:


Meanwhile, Palestinian sources reported IDF airstrikes had once again targeted gunmen belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees, the terror group believed to be responsible for Thursday's multiple terror attacks.


Reports say two terrorists on a motorcycle were hit near al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, and paramedics declared them dead.


Watch Iron Dome intercept Grad rocket


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Earlier Gaza sources reported that IDF aircraft fired a missile at a senior commander of the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing, Samad Abdul-Mati, as he was riding his motorcycle in northern Gaza. He was killed immediately.


But the group remained unfazed. A PRC spokesman said that "the threats of criminal Benjamin Netanyahu do not confuse members of the resistance". He also stressed that retaliation would take place over the course of a few days, and vowed "resistance until martyrdom".


Hamas also joined the fray, demanding that the Arab League hold an emergency meeting on "how to respond to Israel's crimes and end them". Gaza's government also called on world leaders and the UN to condemn Israel for its airstrikes.


Iron Dome on Friday night (Photo: Avi Rokach)
Iron Dome on Friday night (Photo: Avi Rokach)


'Empty streets and fear' in Beersheba

In accordance with the threats from Gaza, authorities prepared for a night of turmoil as rocket fire continued unabated, and the army continued to carry out airstrikes.


Patrols were also continuing on the border with Egypt, near the area in which Thursday's attacks took place, in an effort to find any additional terrorists that may be hiding there.


IDF officials were also holding late-night hearings on how to prevent additional attacks, as the army fears the success of the multi-pronged assault may encourage radical Islamists to attempt to emulate it.


Residents of the south also prepared for a night rife with terror, after a rocket injured 10 people in a haredi yeshiva Friday morning, two of them seriously.


Boaz, a resident of Beersheba, told Ynet, "It's scary. It's difficult for everyone. They embarked on an operation, thought it went well, there was a bit of peace and now we're back to empty streets and fear. It hurts to see Beersheba empty on Friday night, but we have nowhere to go. Feeling insecure in your own country is the worst feeling."


Protesters in the city's tent area held a Shabbat service that began with a moment of silence for victims of the attacks. "This proves how much we need togetherness, how much we need a strong community," said Adar Stern, one of the organizers of the protests.


Ilana Curiel and Elior Levy contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 08.19.11, 23:03
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