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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And again: Terror in Ashkelon

It had to happen eventually.

A Kassam rocket shot by 'Palestinian' terrorists hit a shopping center in Ashkelon within the last hour. At least ten people have been injured.
At least 10 people were wounded Wednesday evening, including a baby girl and her mother who were seriously hurt, when a rocket fired from Gaza hit the Hutzot Shopping Center in Ashkelon.

The mother and her baby were evacuated to the city's Barzilai Hospital. Dozens of people were treated for shock.

The rocket hit the third floor of the building, where offices and clinics are located, and the shopping center sustained considerable damage.

Kassam rockets terrorists usually fire at Israel do not have enough range to reach Ashkelon. Instead, they use Grad-type rockets to hit the city of 100,000, about 15 kilometers from the Gaza-Israel border.

The attack came as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US President George W. Bush concluded their meeting in Jerusalem.

Olmert said at the end of the talks that Israel would not tolerate attacks from Gaza terrorists.
Yeah, right.

This will be a live-blog post, so keep checking back.

UPDATE 6:38 PM

Islamic Jihad has taken responsibility, but this could not have happened without Hamas' approval.

Eleven people injured: Two serious, three moderate, six light.

UPDATE 6:39 PM

Fourteen people admitted to Barzilay Hospital in Ashkelon. Most lightly wounded. Two serious, two moderate, the rest light.

Some injured may be flown to Soroka in Be'er Sheva by helicopter as necessary.

UPDATE 6:41 PM

The police say that the Kassam alarm (code red) did not work and there was no warning of the rocket.

Arutz Sheva adds:
A spokesman for the local Fire Department stated that the powerful rocket hit the building's 3rd floor and crashed down to the floor below. He said the firefighters rescued four people - including a little girl - who were trapped behind or under a collapsed wall. At present, all the wounded and trapped are assumed to have been rescued and evacuated. The destruction to the building is significant,

One toddler was taken to the local hospital in serious condition, two others are listed in moderate-to-serious condition, and eight others were more lightly hurt. Up to 14 people are being treated for shock.

The rocketed shopping center is located in the southern area of the port city. The rocket hit at approximately 5:50 PM, an hour when the area is generally crowded with shoppers.

Ashkelon, Israel's 13th largest city with nearly 110,000 people, has come into range of Gaza's rockets over the past year and a half. Many of the rockets have landed very near the Rotenberg Power Plant, Israel's second-largest electric station, which supplies about a quarter of Israel’s electricity.

It is assumed that this afternoon's rockets were timed to coincide with President Bush's visit in Israel. Analysts increasingly opine that a full-scale Israeli offensive in and against Gaza is likely to begin in a matter of days.
I'll believe there's an 'offensive' when it happens.

UPDATE 6:45 PM

Haaretz adds:
A woman and her young daughter were seriously wounded, along with another child, said Leah Malul of Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

Witnesses told Israeli radio stations that the rocket caused considerable damage. Rescue service director Eli Bean said at least two people were trapped under the rubble.

Army Radio said the rocket hit the third floor of the Hutzot mall. The report said a clinic takes up part of the floor. A hospital official said two children were brought to the emergency room.

The homemade rockets militants usually fire at Israel do not have enough range to reach Ashkelon. Instead, militants use Grad-type Katyusha rockets to hit the city of 100,000, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the Gaza-Israel border.
UPDATE 8:20 PM

We now have dueling claims of responsibility - that's nothing new.
Two terror groups, the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Israel believes Islamic Jihad is getting the Grads from Iran. "It's part of the Iranian war against Israel," former deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh told Israel Radio.

...

Following the attack, two Kadima faction members called on the government to assassinate Hamas leaders.

"Hamas leaders must be assassinated. We need to prove to Bush and to the world that Israel can fight terror," said MK Shlomo Mula.

Knesset House Committee chairman David Tal, also of Kadima, said that "Israel must sever the hand that is launching rockets at Israel."

Likud released a statement calling for a "policy of strength" and urging the government to "topple the Hamas regime."

Separately, Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar said the attack was the result of the government's "continuing weak policy of restraint" that he said was effectively "the abandonment of residents of the South."

He called for a wide-scale military operation in Gaza "in order to restore security to southerners."
Peres is now speaking in front of Bush. The part about "we'll respond at the right time" and wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded was said in Hebrew, not in English.

6 Comments:

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Murderers!

Olmert.
Livni.
Barak.
Dichter.
Bush.
Rice.

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger Ed D said...

Let's see if the following useless idiots, Bush, Rice, Olmert, Peres, Livni, Barak and others, will allows this catastrophy to go unanswered. A coordinated massive air attack wiping Khanb Yunis off the map would be a good start.

 
At 8:18 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

More Murderers!

Dayton!
Jones!
Fraser!

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger Bobby Coggins said...

My prayers are with the people of Israel.

I wish our leaders here in America cared more for Israel.

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I guess having Jews injured and killed is the price it takes to please Bush. What kind of country does that to its own people? Israel's leaders have a lot to answer for on Judgment Day.

 
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