Tuesday, January 15, 2008

15-Jan-08: Bloody day

The news media are replete with reports of the Israeli raid on Gaza this morning that resulted in many Palestinian-Arab deaths and injuries (all or nearly all of them Hamas operatives directly engaged in terrorism, according to Reuters' Gaza correspondent). Far fewer will adequately relate Israel's actions with the ongoing terror war being waged from Gaza. Here's what's happened so far today on Israel's side of the border:
  • A Grad missile was fired into Israel from northern Gaza. It landed near a tennis court in Ashkelon. No injuries or damage.
  • Two Qassam rockets were fired into Israel a short time after the Grad, again from the northern Gaza Strip. These landed in an open field near the southern Israeli city of Sderot. No injuries or damage.
  • At Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha where Carlos Andres Chavez, 20, a tourist-volunteer from Quito, Ecuador was shot in the back and killed by a Pal-Arab sniper from Gaza Strip this morning, kibbutz members came under fire as they attempted to retrieve tractors abandoned in the field as a result of the attack.
  • Two more Qassam rockets plus five mortar rounds were fired into Israel from Gaza during the day today.
  • An interesting sidenote: The Reuters man in Gaza, Nidal al-Mughrabi, points out that Hamas claimed responsibility for firing the rockets into Israel today (as we noted this morning), marking the first time the jihadists had admitted their involvement since they routed the Abbas-Fatah forces in June to take control of the Gaza Strip. He writes: "Hamas had [previously] fired mortar bombs and allowed other Palestinian militant groups to fire rockets into Israel, but the direct claim marked a more aggressive approach toward the Jewish state."
The day's not over.

UPDATE Tuesday 8:30pm - Channel 2 television news here and YNet are reporting that four people (at least) were wounded, including a 5-year-old girl, in a rocket barrage on Sderot during the afternoon. 15 Qassams were fired into Sderot during the afternoon hours; four rockets landed in the city's limits. "The rocket fire started at around 4:15 PM, with one Qassam hitting a poultry processing plant where Yakov Yakobov was killed in November 2006. Since Tuesday morning, a total of 23 Qassam rockets and 16 mortar shells were fired at western Negev communities. One of the rockets hit a power line in Sderot, halting power supply to several areas in town. Electric Company workers were called to the place to repair the damage."And as we wrote earlier - the day's still not over.

UPDATE Wednesday 7:30am: According to Haaretz, 24 Qassam rockets were fired by the Gazan terrorists into Israel on Tuesday. YNet says 41. In addition, some 24 mortar shells and one Grad Katyusha rocket struck the outskirts of a residential section of the city of Ashkelon. Five Israelis were hospitalized for their shrapnel wounds, four for shock and another who was hurt while trying to take cover during an attack. Three rockets crashed into Sderot's urban sections; the Color Red incoming-rocket siren sounded 14 times, causing local residents to scramble for cover time after time. Toward evening, a rocket struck a power line, leaving Sderot's residents in darkness.

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