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

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.