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Rocket Fire Continues on Southern Israel During Terrorist Truce

Southern Israel came under rocket fire once again for a fifth night despite claims by Gaza terrorists they were committed to a “ceasefire.”
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/23/2011, 12:55 AM

Rocket fire on Ashkelon and Ashdod
Rocket fire on Ashkelon and Ashdod
Flash 90

Southern Israeli cities came under rocket fire again for a fifth night despite claims by Gaza terrorists they were committed to a “ceasefire.” Residents in the coastal city of Ashkelon found themselves racing for cover several times throughout the night Monday as the Color Red air raid siren blared its warning, starting in the early evening. 

Two medium-range Grad Katyusha missiles, fired by terrorists in northern Gaza, exploded in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council district at around 7:40 p.m. local time. Both landed in open areas, although one set off a large brush fire in a field that quickly ignited due to the dry summer heat.

A third rocket attack was launched at about 10:00 p.m. The missile landed in an open area in the Ashkelon Regional Council district. Another one followed about two hours later, right around midnight, also in the area of the coastal city. The Color Red air raid siren blared a warning alert each time.

No damage or physical injuries were reported.

However, the necessity of racing for shelter late at night creates an especially difficult time for families with children or other relatives who are elderly or unwell, noted Hana Levi Julian, LCSW-R, a behavioral psychotherapist. "This comes not only due to the nocturnal disruption in the body's circadian rhythm but also due to the sudden spike in adrenalin that results from the body's response to the alert siren. The cumulative effect of such stimuli are especially damaging to children, whose bodies and minds are in the formative stages of life," she commented.

Earlier in the day, a rocket struck an empty building in the Eshkol Regional Council district as well. No physical injuries were reported in any of the attacks.

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist group had announced earlier Monday in a statement on its website that it would adhere to a Hamas-led ceasefire. However, more than a dozen rockets were fired Sunday night after the so-called truce was imposed.

No Gaza-based group took responsibility for the attacks.

A deadly Grad Katyusha missile barrage on Be'er Sheva Saturday evening left a 38-year-old man dead and eight others seriously wounded. Ofakim was also targeted, as were numerous other southern Israeli cities and communities. Nearly 40 people were hospitalized due to severe anxiety.