Jerusalem, Israel – Hamas, the ruling faction of the Palestinian Authority government, took credit last night for firing 21 missiles into Sderot, the main city of Israel’s Western Negev southern region.
One of these missile launchings was witnessed and filmed by a correspondent from the “One Jerusalem” blog who happened to be on a tour organized by the Sderot and Western Negev Regional News Service, www.SderotMedia.com, when they came to an observation point that overlooked northern Gaza.
What “One Jerusalem” filmed was that the missile was launched toward Sderot from the roof of an Arab home in Beit Hanoun, a crowded Arab city in the northernmost area of Gaza. The night before, the office of the Minister of Defense told The Bulletin that Israel would strike back at any and all missile launches from Gaza.
However, there was no Israeli fire at the source of this missile in Beit Hanoun, for fear of civilian casualties that would be caused by an Israeli counterattack.
In terms of casualties and damage to civilians in Sderot, 28 people were injured, including a 45-year-old woman and her 3-year-old son, who suffered a serious wounds after a Gaza missile tore through their living room. Meanwhile, a school building in Sderot suffered a direct hit, causing heavy damage, while the main shopping areas in the Sderot mercantile center were also hit.
The Israeli security cabinet met in special session last night after the missile barrage on Sderot, after which Israeli helicopter gun ships fired into potential missile launching sites in open fields south of Beit Hanoun, to “prevent future missile attacks,” in the words of the Defense Minister’s office.
Yet with the missile attacks hailing from populated areas, such attacks against “open areas” were viewed as ineffective.
In another development, Batya Kedar, the head of the Sderot PTA, asked that women and children be evacuated from Sderot, since the government was not responding to the attacks on the city and was not even preparing enough shelters or protecting the schools.
School was called off in Sderot today, as Sderot residents eagerly waited to see if the Israeli government would order the Israeli army to take action in Gaza.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2007