Source: Arutz Sheva
By David Lev
At least three people killed Thursday morning when a Grad rocket hit an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi. Five other people were injured in the attack, with three in serious to critical condition. Rescue teams hurried to the scene to treat the injured, who were taken for treatment in a Beersheva hospital. Among the injured was a two year old baby. Sources said that the buiding hit by the rocket was in the Chabad neighborhood of the city.
Initial reports said that one person had been killed, with at least five injured, three of them critically. Israel Radio said that lifesaving teams had attempted to revive the critically injured, but declared two of them dead when the attempts failed. The five were among a large group that had taken refuge in an old building that suffered a direct hit from a Grad rocket. Rescue teams were trying to remove victims of the attack from the rubble, and were preparing for the possibility of more casualties, Magen David Adom officials said.
A heavy barrage of Grad and Katyusha rockets was fired at the main population centers in southern Israel Thursday morning. Red Alert warnings were heard in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malachi, Beersheva, and Ofakim. Speaking live from Beersheva at around 8:00 AM Israel time, Israel Radio’s correspondent counted at least a dozen missiles hitting in the area of the city. The IDF said that several of the rockets fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon were intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket interception system.
IDF officials expected the barrage to continue throughout Thursday morning, as Gazans prepare to bury Ahmed Jaabari, commander of Hamas’s “military” terror wing, who was eliminated Wednesday night, takes place. The IDF was on alert throughout the country, saying that terror activity was likely to increase, with possible rioting by Arabs in PA controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and a strong likelihood that terrorists would attempt to kidnap IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians.
The IDF eliminated three Hamas terrorists early Thursday, Israel Radio said, as Gaza Arab terrorists continued to hammer Israeli towns and villages with rockets. Several rockets were fired at the Be’ersheva and Ofakim areas on Thursday morning. The three were members of Hamas’ military wing, the IDF said. Since midnight Wednesday, about 30 rockets were fired at Israeli targets, for a total of over 110 since the beginning of the Pillar of Defense operation Wednesday night.
The UN Security Council, at an emergency closed session, discussed the situation in Gaza without coming to any decisions. But during the meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the UN strongly defended Israel, saying that said there was no justification for the violence that “Hamas and other terrorist organizations” are aiming at Israel.
“We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately,” Rice said, adding that the rocket attacks were harming efforts to end the Middle East conflict and create a PA state. “Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that does nothing but set back the Palestinian cause,” said the US ambassador, who is considered a frontrunner to become the next US secretary of state. “Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza nor to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination and independence,” Rice said.
The IDF reported that it had destroyed dozens of rocket launching pads and hundreds of weapons in Gaza overnight, including many long-range missiles that Israeli officials fear could be fired at the Tel Aviv area. On Thursday morning, IDF planes dropped tens of thousands of flyers over Gaza cities and towns, warning civilians to stay away from Hamas terror bases and rocket-launching sites, lest they be caught up in an Israeli attack on a legitimate target.
Fighting Terror While Minimizing Harm to Gaza Civilians
IDF Pinpoint Strike on Ahmed Jabari,
Head of Hamas Military Wing
Fajr-5 rockets, a long range missile capable of threatening the lives of 3.5 million Israeli civilians, are shown being unloaded and concealed in an underground launch site.