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Sunday, June 11, 2006

War in Beit Lahiya, Sderot

After a barrage of seventeen Kassams that were shot this morning at Sderot, which left one Israeli critically wounded from shrapnel, the IDF has struck back, incinerating two 'Palestinians' as they were about to shoot more Kassams from a site near Beit Lahiya, the same area that was targeted on Friday. (YNet is reporting this as one dead and two wounded).

The Jerusalem Post notes that the IDF has denied reports of a second airstrike in which an Islamic Jihad member was reportedly killed. According to 'Palestinian' sources, the man died in an explosion at his Jabaliya home, possibly as a result of a 'work accident'.

Hamas claimed credit for most of the 17 Kassam rockets fired on Sunday morning. Israel Radio reported a Hamas spokesman saying, "We'll turn Sderot into a ghost town," words that echoed those of Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, who said last week that if the Kassam fire on Israel did not stop, Beit Hanoun should be "turned into a ghost town."

So far, unfortunately, Hamas appears to have been more successful, as the schools in Sderot were closed this morning until further notice, and the children were sent home. You will recall that Comrade Peretz has said that the IDF does not have the funding to armor all the schools in Sderot before school re-opens in September. So why didn't anyone think of that before we surrendered Gaza? HaAretz and Arutz Sheva report that
parents had already decided Saturday to keep their children out of schools, because the protected classrooms arranged by the government for the southern town are not yet available for use. According to the parents, until the safetly of their children is ensured, they will keep them out of school.

Arutz Sheva adds that
Batia Katar, the head of the city's Parents Committee told Army Radio, "We refuse to have our children subjected to the danger of these rockets." She said that Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal had shown full support for the decision to close down the schools.

"Olmert goes to apologize for a stray Israeli rocket in Gaza," Katar told Army Radio, "if there even was one, but who will apologize to us? Why is he going to Europe when our children are suffering here?" Olmert is set to depart for a diplomatic visit to Europe today.

Sderot resident Nati Angel is in critical condition and fighting for his life after an operation that a doctor at Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital described as "complicated." Angel suffered a severe shrapnel wound to his stomach. According to HaAretz, Angel is a maintenance worker at the Sha'ar Hanegev elementary school. Two other people suffered shock as a result of this morning's rocket fire.

A number of buildings, including a factory, sustained damage after one of the rockets landed on a building in Ashkelon's industrial zone. A Kassam also landed in a populated area south of Sderot.

In the meantime, Comrade Peretz's "no artillery fire" order remains in effect.

Ms. Katar had more to say on Army Radio this morning.

Arutz Sheva reports
that Ms. Katar further said that she and others have no interest in living in Sderot anymore.
"Within a few days, every house here will have a 'For Sale' sign," she said. "We demand that the Sela Administration [which dealt with the relocation of expelled Gush Katif and Northern Shomron residents] open its doors to us and find us new apartments around the country."
Army Radio reported that many irate Sderot residents called in afterwards to protest Katar's willingness to give up. One woman, Kineret Rosenfeld, said in response, "We don't want to leave Sderot, we simply demand that the army and government protect us as in every other place. Our Sages have taught us that whoever has mercy on the cruel, will end up being cruel to the merciful - and we see this coming true here. The government worries about a civilian population that protects and shelters and helps the terrorists, but does nothing to protect us from them. I want to know why my five little children who are now home with me have to be frightened of every announcement in the street because they no longer know the difference between the ice cream man and the Red Dawn rocket warning system, with who knows how much permanent damage."
So why didn't anyone listen when the right warned of that before the Gaza surrender?

Update 4:25 PM

The Jerusalem Post is now reporting that a house in Kibbutz Nahal Oz suffered a direct hit from a Kassam. No one was reported injured.


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