This past Wednesday morning, Fatima Slutzker - a Moslem woman, mother of two, who immigrated to Israel with her Jewish husband and their two sons several years ago - was killed by a Kassam rocket. In the same attack, Maor Peretz, a guard at the home of Sderot resident Defense Minister Amir Peretz, was seriously injured, and both of his legs were subsequently amputated below the knee. On Thursday, a 17-year-old youth was seriously wounded by rocket shrapnel in his stomach.
It was later reported that yet another Kassam was fired, landing in the Eshkol region of the western Negev around 8:15 AM and causing no injuries.
The Cabinet ministers will discuss various options to the ongoing rocket strikes at Israel's civilian population. Though several ministers have been quoted as saying that 'no other country would tolerate such a situation' and the like, the Cabinet is not expected to approve a wide-scale military operation in Gaza.
An IDF strike at a vehicle in Gaza this afternoon reportedly killed one terrorist. The incident was an instance of the practice known as "targeted killing of terrorists."
During the night, the IDF was forced to cancel a planned aerial strike on a suspected terrorist target in Gaza when hundreds of Arab residents gathered around the building. The IDF, as is customary, had given notice to the families living in the building of the impending strike, but instead of leaving the area, the residents notified their friends, who came to the site. The villagers chanted anti-American and Israeli slogans indicating they would rather die rather than surrender to Israel.
The targeted building was the home of Popular Resistance Committees commander Mohammad al-Baroud, who resides in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.
The terrorists plan to make this a regular practice. "We call upon all the fighters to reject evacuating their houses," said Abu Abir, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, quoted by Reuters, "and we urge our people to rush into the threatened houses and make human shields."
The General Security Service (Shabak) announced today that 1,004 Kassam rockets have been fired at the Sderot region in the course of this year. In 2005, the number of rockets was 306, and in the year before that, 159 rockets were fired at Sderot and environs.