Jerusalem, Israel – Last night, at 8 p.m., an Israeli woman, Shirel Friedman, 35, was killed by a direct Gaza missile which hit her car. Two other Israelis were injured in the five-missile salvo, while another 20 were admitted to hospitals for shock treatment.
The timing of the attack coincided with the preplanned visit to Sderot of Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who accompanied European Union envoy Javier Solana to a meeting at the Sderot municipality, where Livni had announced earlier in the day that she wanted to acquaint Solana with the human implications of the missile attacks on Sderot.
Since the Livni-Solana meeting was announced as a leading news item on the Israel Government Broadcasting Authority radio newsreel all day, the joke that circulated all day in Sderot was that the Palestinians in Gaza, who know Hebrew and follow the Israeli news, would greet Livni and Solana with a salvo of missiles.
By he end of the evening, this was no joke. Twenty missiles had hit Sderot. A riot broke out near the Sderot municipality, after an angry crowd reacted to the killing of Friedman. As the crowd chanted slogans calling for strong military action in Gaza, some of the protesters through debris at the municipality and broke windows of the town city hall. Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrived on the scene and promised stronger action against Hamas.
In response to the new round of attacks, Ahmad Yousif, a senior advisor to Hamas leader and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an that he refused to order a halt to launching missiles at Israeli towns and farms. Yousif depicted the missiles being hurled at Israeli targets as “fireworks which alert the world that there can be no solution except forcing Israel to halt its hostilities.”
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2007