Daily Israel Report

Rocket Scores Direct Hit on Jewish Home in Sderot

Arabs in Gaza launched 4 Kassam rockets on Jewish homes early Wed. morning, causing damage and sending 2 people into shock. The mayor of Sderot says the gov't must destroy or control Beit Hanoun.
By Baruch Gordon and Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/31/2006, 8:36 AM / Last Update: 5/31/2006, 9:56 AM

The bombarded home belongs to the Ashkenazi family, neighbors of Sderot-resident Defense Minister Amir Peretz.

House owner Motka Ashkenazi said, "I was home alone when the Kassam landed. The whole house shook, and much damage was caused. My kids were not home because they spent the night in Tel Aviv, and my wife had left early for work. There are many natural gas canisters outside, and if one of them had exploded, Heaven forbid, the results would have been tragic."

Mr. Ashkenazi noted that had the rocket not hit a large concrete supportive beam, the thrust of the blast would have causing much more damage.

Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal said this morning, "The answer lies not in rocket-proofing, and not in ground forces going into Gaza once a year. Either operations like yesterday must happen three times a day, or else we simply have to destroy Beit Hanoun [the city from which the Kassams are launched] - or else take control of the area. No other normal country allows itself to be bombarded with rockets, and then does nothing but fire at empty fields. If we don't take real action, we'll have 10 or 15 years of these rockets."

Two other Kassams exploded in yards of residential homes, causing damage to the structures. One of them took a chuck off the roof of a house before landing in the yard below. A fourth Kassam landed in an open area in Sderot's neighboring Kibbutz Or HaNer.

Two people were treated for shock and transferred to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

Sderot resident Nana Engel said she was outside her house and watering the garden during the 6 a.m. attack when she actually saw the Kassam rocket flying directly overhead:
"It was truly scary. I ran behind the house where I thought it landed, but neighbors told me it hit another house. It is amazing no one was hurt."

This morning, upon arriving in the city, Defense Minister Amir Peretz assured questioners that he had no plans to leave the city, and said, "I hope the cut in the defense budget will not affect our ability to rocket-proof the communities." He said Tuesday night that the IDF would make every effort to put an end to the rocket attacks.