by: Kate Norman
Monday, 4 November 2019 | An Israeli home took a direct hit when more rockets were fired from Gaza on Friday night.
No injuries were reported as the family had already fled to the shelter when they heard the Code Red siren, but the home was damaged after residents of Israeli border communities endured three waves of rocket attacks during what should have been a peaceful Shabbat (Sabbath) evening.
Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired 10 rockets into the Jewish state, eight of which were intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF’s) Iron Dome missile defense system, the IDF reported.
The family who lived in the home that was struck in Sderot, which lies near the northeastern tip of the Gaza Strip, ran immediately to their shelter in a nearby building when the alarm sounded.
“This is not a game,” they said, quoted by Ynetnews. “We ran for the protected area as soon as we heard the sirens. We are used to it.”
A paramedic described the chaotic scene that night that included several damaged cars with shattered windshields. Pictures following the attack show the family’s home and nearby cars peppered with shrapnel and holes from shrapnel.
In response to the attack from Gaza, the IDF reported that it conducted retaliatory strikes on Hamas targets in the Strip, including training compounds, weapon manufacturing and storage sites, and underground infrastructure.
“Terror targets civilians. We target terror,” the IDF declared in a statement.
A 27-year-old Palestinian man was killed during one of the strikes on a Hamas military training camp, according to Gaza health officials, and three other people were wounded.
Israel’s security cabinet met for over four hours on Sunday to discuss the situation, and Channel 12 news reported the overall assessment was that the current round is over, but the clock is ticking until it inevitably happens again—potentially on a bigger scale that will call for a more decisive reaction from the Jewish state.
None of the militant groups in the terror enclave stepped forward to claim responsibility for Friday’s attack. Nonetheless, Israel has a longstanding policy of holding Hamas responsible for all terror activity that comes out of the Gaza Strip.
“It must be understood that as far as we are concerned, Hamas is responsible for every attack originating from the territory of the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday. “I do not intend to go into detail here about our plans. We will continue to take action on all fronts for the security of the State of Israel, both openly and covertly, on land, sea and in the air.”
An unnamed Hamas official told Haaretz that Hamas did not give the green light for Friday’s attack and that none of the usual suspects of terrorist factions took responsibility.
The day before Friday’s barrage, a solitary rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel that landed in an open field. Before that, however, Israeli border residents had enjoyed nearly a month of relative calm.
What changed? What disrupted that calm?
Khaled Abu Toameh, a Jerusalem-based Israeli Arab, reported that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been arresting journalists in the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria over the last few weeks. Toameh attributed it as an effort to squash any anti-government criticism that could be sparked by the protests engulfing Lebanon and Iraq that are spreading to neighboring countries.
It would be in Hamas’s best interests to spark enough anti-Israel uproar to draw any criticism away from itself and place it on the terror group’s favorite scapegoat: Israel.
However, Hamas has carefully distanced itself from the recent conflict. Israel’s Channel 13 news, citing unnamed Palestinian sources, reported that the terror organization claimed that it was conducting investigations to find the responsible party in order to placate Egyptian mediators.
The on-again-off-again calm on the border is carefully fenced in under a cease-fire brokered by the United Nations and Egypt, with Egyptian mediators regularly visiting the Strip to monitor its activity.
The European Union (EU) issued a statement yesterday condemning the weekend rocket barrage.
“The firing of rockets against the civilian populations is unacceptable and must stop immediately and unconditionally,” the statement read. “The priority should be to work on immediate de-escalation to protect civilian lives.
“Israelis and Palestinians both have the right to live in peace, security and dignity. Only a political solution can put an end to the violence.”
Alon Davidi, the mayor of Sderot, painted a picture of life near the border without peace and security.
“We live in a difficult reality, finding ourselves running like crazy to find a shelter all the time,” Davidi said, quoted by Ynetnews.
A picture showing a 5-year-old girl curled up in a shelter during the attack with her hands covering the back of her head went viral. Her mom, Sara Dahan, said her niece accidentally took the picture of Tahel during the confusion.
“Her whole body shook, she locked up on the floor and didn’t move, with her hands on her head,” Dahan wrote on Facebook to accompany the picture. “My girl, I’m so sorry you need to go through this.”
Posted on November 4, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 4, 2019)
Photo Credit: IDF/Twitter.com
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