Two Arab Children Killed in Nazareth Katyusha Attack

A barrage of rockets upon the lower Galilee towns of Nazareth and Afula has resulted in the deaths of two Israeli-Arab children Wednesday afternoon. Battles rage on all fronts.

Hillel Fendel and Ezra HaLevi , | updated: 19:26

Ten people were wounded in the Nazareth attack and the two brothers, Rabiya Abed Taluzi, aged three and Mahmoud Abed Taluzi, age seven, were killed instantly by the katyusha missile that struck the street in which they were playing, near their home.

In Afula, the town's main water line was damaged. Afula has been hit by several salvos of missiles in recent days.

Heavy IDF-Hizbullah fighting in continues in Lebanon, Katyushas rain in the north, a high alert in Sharon region, Kassams in south, and now-dispelled rumors of an abducted soldier all contributed a very tense day of war. A brief national electric outage added to the chaos.

Neutralized Terror Threats
The high-level alert for a terrorist planning to blow himself up in a populated area in the greater Tel Aviv district began around 10:20 AM, and continued for several hours until the terrorist was found in a construction site and neutralized. Beforehand, an explosion between the Morasha and Yarkon junctions around 1 PM caused many hearts to skip a beat, but it turned out to be a harmless barrel set afire by Deparment of Public Works workers. The police roadblocks resulted in heavy traffic jams throughout the region.

At the same time, rumors of an abducted soldier were found to be not true, but not before they caused still more tension throughout the country. A soldier was said to be seen getting into a suspicious-looking vehicle, and subsequent attempts to contact him by cell phone proved fruitless. He was later found safe and sound, however.

Kassams in the South
Two Kassam rockets were launched at the Sderot area last night (Tuesday), causing no physical damage; several residents were treated for shock.

Moshe Shlomo, 52, of Sderot, died yesterday of a heart attack he suffered after a Kassam rocket landed near his home a week ago. Doctors who treated him say "there is no doubt" that the Kassam rocket was the main factor in his heart attack.

Shlomo's brother Herzl was killed in January 2005 in a terrorist attack at the Karni Crossing into Gaza.

"We must no longer say, 'there was no damage and no casualties,'" says Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz, Executive-Director of Arutz-7. "Every rocket that falls causes irreversible damage - tremendous psychological harm, children can't function, families cannot run normally, and even property values keep dropping."

Two Kassams were also fired towards Ashkelon, with one landing in the National Park. No one was hurt. Late this morning, one or two Kassams hit the Netiv HaAsarah community, just north of Gaza.

It was also revealed today that a rocket that fell well north of Sderot - in Kibbutz Bror Chayil, for the first time - was actually not a regular Kassam, but a Russian-made Grad missile, which has a 20-25 kilometer range.

Fighting in the North
Heavy exchanges of fire with Hizbullah terrorists took place outside Avivim, 12 kilometers north of Tzfat, along the Israeli-Lebanese border. "This is no simple incident," said one reporter near the scene. Several Hizbullah terrorists, who have hidden out there since the beginning of the fighting a week ago, are reported to have been killed.

The IDF still has some 20 Hizbullah outposts to destroy all along the Lebanese-Israeli border. Gen. (ret.) Yossi Peled explained that it was all but inevitable that ground forces would have to be used in order to realize the goal of ridding southern Lebanon of Hizbullah.

Overlooking Avivim is a Hizbullah stronghold of Marun A-Ras, which used to be a civilian village. "Five years ago, however," said Shimon Biton, a former mayor of Avivim, "[after the IDF withdrew from southern Lebanon] the Hizbullah terrorists came in and threw out all the villagers, and took over. It's a very important place, controlling the entire area."

Some 25 Katyushas were fired at northern Israel by early this afternoon (Wednesday), and another 70 in the hours afterwards. One person was seriously wounded in a direct hit on a house in Tiberias, two people were wounded in Haifa by shrapnel, and others were treated for shock. Fires are raging in many places in the Galilee, including very close to the town of Tivon. Targeted towns today include Carmiel, the Krayot north of Haifa, Maalot, Hatzor, Kiryat Shmonah and others.

The IDF carried out aerial attacks against more than 100 targets in Lebanon in the course of Tuesday. Among the targets were 12 access roads between Lebanon and Syria, used to supply Hizbullah with weapons from Syria and to help Hizbullah terrorists escape to Syria. Four trucks carrying weaponry were also bombed, as was a long-range missile launching truck, 75 Hizbullah missile-launching sites, bridges, weapons warehouses, terrorist cells, and more.

Since the original Hizbullah attack on Israel on July 13th, Israel has targeted more than 180 missile launching sites.

Once again yesterday (Tuesday), the IDF dropped leaflets addressing the southern Lebanese civilian population. The leaflets warn the Lebanese public to stay clear of areas from which rockets are launched against Israel, as these will be targeted by the IDF and civilians present in those areas are endangering their lives.

The leaflets also stress that any pickup truck or truck traveling south of the Litani River will be considered suspect of transporting weapons and rockets, and is a potential target for the IDF. The IDF stresses that though it is operating with great caution to prevent harming uninvolved civilians, southern Lebanon is a combat zone in which Hizbullah terrorists use civilians as human shields. There have been reports of Hizbullah forcibly preventing civilians from fleeing southern Lebanon.

Electric Outage
Adding to the panic and tension was a brief electric outage in many areas of the country, sparking rumors that it was caused by a terrorist act or rocket strike. In actuality, the outage was caused by a technical failure in the Ashdod region, and electricity was soon restored.