Deadly Gaza missiles reached farther into Israel last night, hitting the vital commercial port city of Ashdod.
In Ashdod, a 33-year-old woman was killed at a sheltered bus stop in Ashdod where she ran for cover after hearing the siren which warned of an approaching missile.
This hit marks the first time Ashdod has been shelled. Ashdod is Israel’s fifth largest city, located approximately 22 miles from Gaza and has a population of 250,000.
This rocket was one of more than 70 fired at Israel last night, an evening which also marked the first time that the Tel Aviv suburb of Yavne was shelled as well as the first time that the community of Ofakim, in the northern Negev, was shelled.
In another attack last night, one person was killed when a mortar shell fired by Gaza terrorists struck the Nahal Oz area, in the western Negev.
Last night, the name of the construction worker who was killed earlier in the day was released: Hanni Al-Mahdi, 27, of the Bedouin town of Aroer in the Negev, who was killed when he and another 14 people were hit when a Grad-type missile hit a construction site in Ashkelon’s center.
The Hamas regime in Gaza took responsibility for shelling Israel last night, firing the missile and reported that a “Zionist” was killed in the attack.
A man who identified himself as an Israeli Arab named Moussa, a construction worker from Kfar Manda who was lightly wounded in the Ashkelon attack, told Israel Army Radio that there were about 12 workers at the site at the time of the attack.
In Sderot, four people suffered from shock after their house sustained a direct hit from a rocket.
The Israeli Arab revolt seemed to be spreading, with reports of Israeli Arabs throwing lethal stones at Israeli vehicles on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway and inside Tel Aviv itself.
Meanwhile, WAFA, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) news agency reported that Chief Palestinian Negotiator Ahmed Qurei’ announced, yesterday, that peace negotiations with Israel are suspended in protest of the ongoing Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. WAFA quoted Mr. Qurei’ as saying that “it is impossible to hold meetings with Israel when its troops are committing massacres in Gaza. The talks with Israel, which are sponsored and supported by the United States, are now suspended due to the awful bloody scene that Gaza is witnessing these days…. [T]here are no peace negotiations and there will be no negotiations at this time while Israel is attacking the Palestinian people.”
Yet in an official Israeli government briefing that was held only three days before Israel’s offensive against the Hamas regime in Gaza, an Israeli intelligence source told the media that the Arab world – especially the PLO – would express support for Israeli military action against Hamas.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.