Tuesday, February 01, 2011

1-Feb-11: The rockets keep raining on southern Israel

Netivot, last night - site of the Grad rocket attack
on a wedding reception [Source: Ynet]
The fast-moving political and social chaos in Egypt has grabbed most of the regional news headlines. But, in Israel's southern towns and cities, the ongoing years-long state of violence perpetrated by the neighbors remains sadly in place, unchanged.

Overnight, far from the cameras and reporting now going on so intensively in Egypt, three powerful rockets were fired on Israeli communities from the jihadist-infested Gaza Strip, further terrorizing the residents (always the principal goal of the terrorist thug gangs). Fortunately the property damage was relatively minor and there are no reported injury to humans.

A Grad-type rocket (Grad is Russian for hail) crashed into Netivot, a desert city of 27,000 residents, in the driving rain and cold. It narrowly missed a synagogue building where a wedding celebration was underway, producing a deafening explosion in the grounds outside. Four people, according to JPost, were treated for shock in the  Netivot attack and a vehicle was damaged.

Several minutes after the attack on Netivot, a second Grad-type missile smashed into the beleagured town of Ofakim (population 25,000) which has the misfortune of being located a mere 15 miles or about 24 km from Gaza. Ofakim was struck in a previous Grad rocket attack by Gazan Arab terrorists in mid-November.

A third rocket - a mortar, according to JPost - crashed into open fields in southern Israel's Eshkol region, also overnight.

A Palestinian Arab news source is reporting on mass breakouts from Egyptian prisons, as well as the phenomenon of 34 "Muslim Brothers" - members of the outlawed Islamist militant/terrorist organization and including seven senior members of its leadership according to Haaretz - simply walking out of a jail, the one in Wadi Natrun north of Cairo, "unhindered after guards there abandoned their posts". There are indications that Gaza's already burgeoning stock of terrorists and bomb-makers has grown in the past few days, contributing to changes that already threaten what has been called "the specter of Israel's worst strategic nightmare... a scenario in which we see the collapse of the peace treaty with Egypt".

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