Daily Israel Report

Six Katyushas Strike Northern Israel, IDF Retaliates

Six Katyusha rockets hit northern Israel, east of Nahariya and near Shlomi Thursday morning. One of them hit the roof of an old age home.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 1/8/2009, 7:56 AM / Last Update: 1/8/2009, 11:36 AM

Israel News Photo

Katyusha fire has returned to Israel's northern border with Lebanon.

At least four Katyusha rockets hit northwestern Israel, in the area of the coastal city of Nahariya, around 7:35 a.m. Thursday morning. One of the missiles hit the roof of an old age facility in Nahariya.

Later in the morning, at approximately 11:00 a.m., two Katyusha rockets also exploded near the town of Shlomi, a town of approximately 5,100 residents. On July 12, 2006, the town was hit by a barrage of Katyushas fired by Hizbullah terrorists as a diversion while operatives carried out a cross-border raid elsewhere along Israel's northern border. Two IDF reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were kidnapped during that raid, which ultimately ignited the Second Lebanon War.

The IDF has been on alert for rocket fire from Hizbullah since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead and has been investigating areas of impact and searching for the source of the rocket fire. Schools in Nahariyah were ordered closed, and Lebanon also closed schools in Beirut out of fear of IDF retaliation.

Two elderly people from the old-age facility are being treated in Nahariya Hospital for light shrapnel wounds in the legs, and four others are being treated for shock.

The Home Front Command has ordered residents to enter shelters.

Hizbullah's Al Manar television station reported that Israel retaliated with five mortar shells, and the IDF confirmed that artillery fire was aimed at the source of the rocket firings.

Hizbullah has smuggled in from Syria three times more rockets than it possessed before the Second Lebanon War two years ago. It has not taken responsibility for the rocket attacks, which may have been initiated by another terrorist group with the approval of Hizbullah. Israeli media reported that the rockets were older models and probably were fired bya small terrorist group.

In the south, sirens warning of incoming Gaza terrorist rockets were activated at around 8:00 a.m. in Ashdod and Ashdod. No one was wounded and there were no reports of property damage.