Chaotic Scene in Gaza Border Community Marks Significant Escalation

November 13, 2018

by: Kate Norman

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Rockets from Gaza have destroyed Israeli homes.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 | In a significant escalation of violence on the Israel–Gaza border, one man in Ashkelon has been killed and several others are being treated for injuries after multiple rockets bombarded the community, located just 13 kilometers (8 miles) north of Gaza.

The man—a 48-year-old Palestinian from Judea and Samaria (West Bank)—was killed in his bed after the apartment was hit directly by a rocket Monday night.

The rocket hit the building just before midnight. Emergency responders immediately conducted a search and evacuated the building, rescuing a 60-year-old woman and taking her to a hospital in Ashkelon in critical condition.

A medic told the Times of Israel they found the woman unresponsive in one of the apartments, suffering from injuries caused by shrapnel from the rocket. Her condition was stabilized and she was transferred to another hospital in serious condition.

It wasn’t until almost 2.00 a.m., a civilian called the responders back to the same building, where they found the dead man, identified as Mohammed Abdel Hamid Abu Isbah, and a moderately injured woman amid rubble and debris in the bedroom of the apartment.

Ynetnews quoted the fire department describing the complex, chaotic scene as the responders worked.

“During the firefighting and rescue operations, there was another direct hit of a structure far from this scene, and most of the forces were diverted there following information of great destruction and a large number of people trapped and wounded. All firefighting and rescue forces returned immediately upon finishing work on the second direct hit and worked until the last of the trapped people was extracted,” the department stated.

During the rocket attacks, the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon treated 75 people: one was moderately injured, 62 lightly wounded and 12 suffering from shock, Ynetnews reported.

A Jerusalem Post journalist who was on the ground in Ashkelon last night described the terrible scene: “As the crews worked in the building sirens sounded overhead and the scores of residents who had come out now had to run to find shelter. Some crouched down next to cars and walls. Overhead Iron Dome missiles intercepted several rockets. Flashes and booms could be seen and heard. It was a duel in the skies above, a war over our heads, while on the ground the emergency crews waited to emerge and get back to work.”

Over 400 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since Monday afternoon. Code Red sirens have been blaring all through the night, into the morning and continue to go off. The IDF (Israel Defense Force) has responded by striking over 150 terrorist targets across Gaza. The Iron Dome (Israel’s missile defense system) has intercepted over 100 of the rockets. Several rockets hit civilian targets, and the rest landed in open fields.

Officials say the situation has not yet reached the point of crisis where Gaza border residents need to be evacuated from the region, but the mayor of Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel, ordered for the preparations to host 300 families this weekend, according to Ynetnews. The potential evacuees would stay in Eilat hotels and in residents’ homes.

Bridges for Peace helps the communities close to the Gaza border. In the past we have provided for bomb shelters and firefighting equipment, as well as our weekly food deliveries. Your donation will allow us to provide much needed emergency assistance for innocent Israelis during these attacks.

Posted on November 13, 2018

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 13, 2018)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/IDF/Twitter