This morning's barrage included fourteen missiles. One Gazan Qassam rocket hit an electricity pole next to a home in Sderot. An 80-year-old woman suffered shrapnel injuries. Seven other people suffered from shock and required treatment.
Four additional rockets hit Ashkelon today. One landed inside the city. Another fell just outside. Two more landed in open fields near the city limits. Two of those rockets were identified as Grad missiles. Three people suffered from shock, requiring medical treatment at Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon.
Demonstrating manifest prejudice and the absence of an ability to understand the moral and factual dimensions of what is being done to Israelis by the Gazan Hamas regime, the European Union Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner is quoted today saying the Gaza crossings, closed by Israel once the barrages started this week, have to be opened and the delivery of fuel and good to be resumed.
"I am profoundly concerned about the consequences for the Gazan population of the complete closure of all Gaza crossings for deliveries of fuel and basic humanitarian assistance," Ferrero-Waldner said in a statement.The EU politician, in a depressingly familiar-sounding response, spoke of the imperative of Israel re-opening the crossings: "Recent infringements of the calm agreed in June must not lead to a renewed cycle of violence. I call on all parties to exercise restraint."
The Israeli response to this morning's bombing barrage, oddly, did not include calls for restraint, since past experience suggests this has only a modest effect. Instead, the IDF bombed a cell of Qassam rocket launchers in the Gaza Strip. Three of the 'activists' who 'activated' the rockets have now ceased their 'activities'.
Ynet says this morning's bombardments came from Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization whose rockets have been striking Israeli settlements (deliberately) and their own Gazan neighbours (somewhat less deliberately) for the past several days, as well as for the past several years. Several of their ideologues are depicted in the AFP photograph below.
The Hamas regime authorities, according to sources quoted by YNet, are doing nothing to prevent the rocket firings, though Hamas personnel are said to be 'not involved' whatever that means when you claim to be the government.
IDF intelligence says attacks on the crossings are planned in conjunction with the ongoing rocket attacks. Israel's government therefore prefers to have the crossings closed in the interests of safe-guarding the lives of the personnel who man them. That concern is evidently beyond the comprehension of well-protected EU bureaucrats and their political masters in Brussels.
UPDATE Sunday morning: Friday's total of Gazan rocket firings into Israeli civilian targets was sixteen. Can you imagine the impact on your community if you were the target of terrorism like this?