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Miracle in Be'er Sheva: Rocket Hits Empty School

A barrage of Grad Katyusha missiles were fired by Gaza terrorists at Be'er Sheva for the fourth day Sunday morning. One landed on a school.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/21/2011, 10:31 AM

Grad Katyusha impact site, Be'er Sheva (Sat)
Grad Katyusha impact site, Be'er Sheva (Sat)
Hatzolah Rescue Services

A barrage of Grad Katyusha missiles struck Be'er Sheva on Sunday morning as Gaza terrorists continued to target the largest city in southern Israel for a fourth day. On Saturday, more than 80 mortar shells and missiles of all ranges were fired by Gaza terrorists at southern Israel.

At about 9:00 a.m. Sunday, a missile struck an empty kindergarten building, closed due to summer vacation.  A program that had been planned for the building today had been cancelled. At least 60 police officers raced to the site of the impact. Miraculously, no one was physically hurt. 

A second rocket reportedly landed in an open area on the outskirts of the city. The third was apparently intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

“Tzeva Adom, Tzeva Adom, Hatzerim... Be'er Sheva” (Color Red, Color Red) called the automated voice as the air raid siren wailed its alert numerous times.

At 10:10 a.m., another missile landed on the northern outskirts of the city and a second was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

"Our entire office trooped down to the shelter in our building, and we stayed there for 15 minutes, and when we got back upstairs we had no water," said Coby J., a customer service representative in a local company who spoke with Arutz Sheva on condition of anonymity.

Several missiles had already been intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system earlier in the morning over the southern coastal city of Ashkelon.

An Ofakim man, Yossi Shushan, 38, had been killed Saturday evening while traveling to return to his family in Be'er Sheva after he heard the air raid sirens and became worried about his wife, in her ninth month of pregnancy, and their two young daughters.  

“We are asking residents to please stay in your safe spaces, please do not photograph what is going on here,” a Be'er Sheva police official reminded listeners on Israel's southern radio station, Radio Darom. Regional Commander Yitzchak Cohen noted that it was much wiser to stay put and not come out to view explosion impact sites, because sometimes there are follow-up attacks that target curious crowds.

“Breathe deeply, drink a glass of water, try to relax, but most important, stay in your safe spaces right now,” a Home Front Command spokesman added in an interview a few minutes later. 

“We heard at least three explosions,” the radio announcer noted after the first barrage struck, “and several listeners have called in to say they saw three rockets in the skies.”

A local police officer who spoke with the radio announcer replied that he was focused on dealing with the present situation on the ground, rather than with what people had seen in the skies. “That is my priority at this point,” he said.

Arutz Sheva reminds readers of the following emergency numbers: To reach the municipality to report problems with a bomb shelter, be it locked or with other issues: dial 106. Soroka Medical Center's emergency hotline is: 1-255-177.  To reach Home Front Command for any reason: dial 1207.