Daily Israel Report

Attacks Widen: Netivot, Psagot and Jerusalem Under Fire

The city of Netivot in the western Negev, as well as the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo came under fire before dawn Sunday.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 3/2/2008, 9:09 AM

The city of Netivot, in the western Negev, as well as the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo came under fire Saturday night after midnight.

A Grad-type Katyusha rocket was fired from Gaza, landing in the Negev town of Netivot before dawn Sunday morning. It landed near the grave of famed Morrocan Jewish Kabbalist Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, the Baba Sali, in an open field. No injuries or damage were reported, though the landing was only the second in Netivot's recent history, bringing the residents of another large town within regular firing-range of the new rocket-arsenal from Gaza.

Posters around Netivot prior to the 2005 Disengagement warned residents that a Gaza withdrawal would lead to their homes being shelled.

Gilo Back in the Firing Line
Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood was once again fired upon from PA-controlled Beit Jalla. The attacks were a regular occurrence at the start of the Oslo War, resulting in the construction of huge concrete barriers and the eventual dismantling of PA infrastructure in the area during Operation Defensive Shield.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has revived the PA and authorized armed Fatah members to operate in Bethlehem and the Beit Jallah suburb.

Terrorists Fire on Community of Psagot
Terrorists opened fire toward IDF soldiers near the Jewish town of Psagot in the Binyamin region on Saturday night.  No soldiers were injured in the attack.

Psagot is on the outskirts of Ramallah, the seat of power of the Fatah branch of the Palestinian Authority. Fatah is controlled by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and receives millions of dollars in funding and weapons training from the United States.

Earlier Saturday, Arabs threw Molotov cocktails at soldiers in Hevron.  An Arab man who attempted to throw a bomb at soldiers in Beit Oumar was wounded when the bomb blew up in his hand; he was taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment.

Gaza Expellees Get Warning Siren, Still No Shelter
Hundreds of Jewish families living in the temporary village of Nitzan have begun hearing the “Color Red” warning system, which has been put into use in coastal towns near Ashkelon.  However, residents of the village continue to live in caravans, and have no sheltered space to run to in case of missile or rocket attacks.

“There is no protection in the area and no option to hide.  We are exposed to fire and to danger with no possibility to seek protection anywhere,” a spokesman for the community said Saturday.  A rocket that landed on a caravan last week destroyed the caravan completely, he added.

Ashkelon Preemies Taken to Reinforced Rooms
Staff members in Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon moved all premature babies to a protected room reinforced against rocket strikes on Saturday, at the request of the IDF Home Front Command.  The move was made just two days after several Grad-type Katyusha rockets landed in Ashkelon, some near the hospital.

Several people were wounded in rocket strikes in Ashkelon on Saturday.  The decision to move some immobile patients to sheltered rooms was seen as a lesson from the Second Lebanon War, when many rocket attack victims were taken to hospitals that were not reinforced against rocket attacks.