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38 Year Old Southern Israeli Victim Leaves Widow in 9th Month

A 38-year-old Ofakim man died Saturday night of wounds sustained in a Gaza missile attack on Be'er Sheva, leaving a pregnant wife.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/21/2011, 12:16 AM

Examining mortar damage in Sha'ar HaNegev
Examining mortar damage in Sha'ar HaNegev
Flash 90

Released for publication: Yossi  Shushan, 38, of Ofakim, died of wounds he sustained Saturday night in a Grad Katyusha attack on Be'er Sheva fired by Gaza terrorists just after the Sabbath ended.

Shushan had spent the Sabbath in Ofakim with his father and became worried about his wife, nine months pregnant, after hearing the air raid sirens, and decided to travel to Be'er Sheva to be with her.  He did not make it into the house she was in before the rocket hit and his wife identified his body minutes after he was killed. The couple had two young daughters and were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first son.

The cries of his wife and family could be heard as the tragic news was announced on the local radio station. Reports that a second person died of his wounds were later determined to be false. Eight others were wounded after the attack that targeted the northern part of the city, called the capital of the Negev.

Doctors fought late into the night to save the lives of four others who were still in the operating rooms at Soroka Medical Center following the attacks. At least two of the victims had been rushed to the hospital in critical condition, with two others in serious condition. Two more victims suffered moderate injuries and one had lighter wounds.

Local Be'er Sheva residents reported hearing 11 explosions just as the Sabbath was ending at about 8:15 p.m. The barrage came just after a similar attack on Ofakim, where a missile scored a direct hit on a house. A four-month-old baby, a nine-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man were all wounded by shrapnel and flying debris from the impact in that attack. Another 38 people were admitted to Soroka Medical Center with severe anxiety.

Another missile slammed into a commercial building, also in Ofakim, closed due to the Sabbath. Two other missiles landed in open areas. No one was physically wounded in those attacks, although numerous residents suffered from trauma and anxiety. Gaza terrorists also fired mortar shells at the Eshkol Regional Council district. At least one shell hit a building, causing slight damage. No physical injuries were reported.

The IAF bombed numerous targets in Gaza during the day, killing another head of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), the Hamas offshoot  responsible for Thursday's terrorist attacks. 

The Iron Dome anti-missile system reportedly intercepted at least one, and possible more Grad Katyusha missiles that were aimed at Be'er Sheva during the day. More than 50 missiles and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of the day on Saturday. Among the areas targeted were the major cities of Be'er Sheva, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi and Ashkelon, as well as Ofakim, Sderot and numerous kibbutzim and moshavim in various districts in the Gaza Belt region. 

The emergency hotline number for those seeking information about loved ones at Soroka Medical Center is 1-255-177. Officials called on residents of the south to review and follow the instructions of Home Front Command, and proceed immediately to a safe space or shelter upon hearing an air raid siren. They also emphasized the importance of not leaving that space for at least 10 minutes of silence or longer, after any impact has been heard.

Saturday night the attacks continued, with terrorists from the Gaza's Hamas rulers and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), firing missiles late into the night.

Two short-range Kassam rockets exploded in open fields in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council district just before midnight  A rocket landed in the Ashkelon Regional Council district at about the same time. No damage or physical injuries were reported in either attack.