Daily Israel Report

Massive Blaze as Gaza Rocket Strikes Sderot Factory

Crews succeed in keeping large blaze from spreading to other factories; 'Sderot ready to take blows for the kidnapped.'
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/28/2014, 8:41 PM / Last Update: 6/28/2014, 10:05 PM

Gaza terrorists fired two rockets on Israel on Saturday evening, hitting communities in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council area to the immediate east of the Hamas-enclave.

One rocket directly hit the "Denber" plastic factory in Sderot's industrial area, causing a large fire to break out. The factory is attached to a paint factory, and both caught fire.

Ten firefighting units from Sderot, Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon and Netivot succeeded in controlling the fire and prevent it from spreading to other factories after an hour-long struggle with the massive blaze. However, the factory apparently was completely burned to the ground.

Four workers who were in the factory at the time it was struck by the rocket managed to rescue themselves, escaping from the blazing building, reports Walla!. The four were reportedly unharmed, and police continue to search if anyone remains trapped inside.

One man in his fifties suffered mild injuries including wounds to his limbs, apparently from the blast of the rocket and ensuing explosions in the factory. The injured man was able to get to a Magen David Adom (MDA) station in the city on his own, and then was evacuated to the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon by paramedics.

Two others reportedly suffered light burns, and were evacuated to the Barzilai Hospital as well.

Several strong explosions were heard from the factory, after a gas balloon and explosive chemicals in the factory apparently exploded from the flames.

The second rocket, which also was fired towards Sderot, landed outside of the city limits. The city has been often beleaguered by Gaza rocket fire; in March on the last of a three-day barrage of roughly 100 rockets, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau visited Sderot even as rockets continued to hit the city.

Saturday's rocket fire comes as part of a recent escalation since Hamas terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teens on June 12.

Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi was at the scene of the blaze as firefighting crews fought to control it.

"The defense minister immediately contacted me, and I told him that Sderot residents are ready to take (the blows) as long as the IDF is acting to return the kidnapped. The terrorism needs to take a beating until the terrorists find themselves underground, alive or dead," remarked Davidi.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system on Friday evening intercepted two rockets from Gaza towards the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council in southern Israel, just hours after a barrage of three rockets exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council, and a mortar shell was fired from Gaza as well.

Ahead of the rockets, the IAF conducted an airstrike, targeting a car in Gaza and killing two terrorists. The two terrorists were identified by the IDF as Osama Hasoumi and Mohammed Fasiah, who were liquidated over being involved in the recent rocket escalation.

That IAF strike followed attacks emanating from Gaza on Friday morning, when a bomb exploded near troops manning Israel's security fence. The blast went off as an IDF patrol passed through the area, in what apparently was a targeted attack.

The IDF reported that no soldiers were injured, although light damage apparently was inflicted on an army vehicle. Tanks returned fire on points in Gaza thought to have been used by terrorists carrying out the attack, and Arab media reported at least four injured.