Tuesday, October 23, 2012
23-Oct-12 [UPDATED 10:30 pm]: Raining rockets in southern Israel again tonight
So far tonight, seven mortar shells have exploded in the Eshkol region of southern Israel, and residents of the area are ordered to remain in shelters. The night is still young - it's now 9:15 pm - and too early to assume that the terrorists are done for the evening. [UPDATE: A total of nine rockets and mortars as of 10:30 Tuesday night, says Times of Israel.]
Ynet says public shelters and reinforced children's residences at one of the kibbutzim in the area, Kibbutz Re'im (the name means friends in Hebrew), are being opened up to enable kibbutz members to spend the night in a secure place.
Times of Israel points out that today's intensified rocket fire comes only hours after the emir of Qatar become the first foreign leader to visit the Gaza Strip since 2007 when the area fell under the violent control of Hamas. It also mentions something that has gotten no other publicity as far as we can tell - that the IDF said it has temporarily suspended operations in the Gaza area during the Qatari visit. If the intention was to show some goodwill, the response has been received at least seven times tonight from Gaza.
Footnote about Re'im: In 2008, [source: Wikipedia], the kibbutz embarked on a project that would make it the first community in Israel, and perhaps in the entire world, to rely entirely on solar energy for domestic consumption. Sunday, a company, which markets the technology in Israel, was to install solar panels on all 130 rooftops in the kibbutz.
Updated at 9:22 PM