Friday, March 9, 2012
Southern Israel under fire; at least 8 hurt
Palestinians pound southern Israel Friday night; four hurt, one suffers serious wounds. Iron Dome intercepts rockets fired at Ashdod; earlier, IDF kills five Gaza terrorists
Southern Israel under heavy fire: Four people were wounded after a rocket exploded in southern Israel's Eshkol region Friday night.
One victim was said to be in serious condition; a second man suffered moderate wounds and two other men were lightly wounded.
Overall, at least eight people were wounded in rocket-related injuries, Magen David Adom emergency services spokesman said: Three people sustained rocket shrapnel wounds, three others were hurt while running for cover, and two others were involved in a car accident as result of the panic.
Earlier, the Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted at least two Grad rockets fired at the southern communities of Ashdod and Gan Yavne, as Gaza terrorists continued to pound Israel's shouth Friday night.
The Color Red alert sounded in the Ashdod region immediately after the long-range rockets were fired, prompting residents to rush into bomb shelters and secured rooms. At least one rocket landed in an open area in the city's vicinity.
Late Friday, the Color Red alert sounded in Beersheba, southern Israel's largest city. The Iron Dome system was engaged and several explosions were reported in the area. Officials later said several rockets exploded near the city.
Throughout in the evening, Palestinians fired at least 40 rockets and mortar shells at Israel's south. The Air Force targeted several rocket cells in Gaza during the evening, killing at least three Islamic Jihad terrorists.
An IDF security assessment prompted the Home Front Command to bar mass gatherings within a 40km radius of the Gaza border, as well as order more public bomb sheltered opened.
Gaza terror chief killed
The latest round of fighting in the Gaza region began Friday afternoon, after the IDF targeted a vehicle traveling in Gaza City, killing Popular Resistance Committees' Secretary General Zuhir al-Qaisi and another senior group figure recently freed in the Gilad Shalit swap.
The army said al-Qaisi was in final stages of planning a major terror attack at Israeli targets on the Egypt border.
The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for most rockets fired at Israel Friday, after earlier vowing to avenge the killing of the group's leader. A spokesman for Nasser Salah-al-Din Brigades, the organization's military wing, said the group ordered its fighters to respond to Qaisi's assassination.
By harming secretary-general al-Qaisi, the Zionist enemy opened the doors of hell and revenge," he said. "The response will be of the same scope as the despicable crime."