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Yaalon: Residents of South Show Great Bravery

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon praised leaders and residents of southern Israel for their patience in the wake of ongoing rocket attacks.
By Yaakov Levi
First Publish: 6/29/2014, 7:53 AM

Sderot factory fire from rocket
Sderot factory fire from rocket
Flash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon praised the leaders and residents of communities in southern Israel, in the wake of ongoing rocket attacks on the region. Yaalon spoke with Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi on Saturday night in the wake of an attack by Gaza Arab terrorists on a plastics factory in the city's industrial zone earlier in the evening.

Addressing Davidi and other local leaders, Yaalon said that they, along with residents, were displaying great leadership and bravery during troubling times. “Unfortunately we are very experienced in incidents like these. But your patience and bravery is what allows us to act to restore quiet to the region,” he said.

Speaking to residents, Davidi said that they needed to remain firm and strong. “We intend to ensure that people are able to live their lives unimpeded by terror attacks,” he said

Yaalon said that the IDF “is working to restore quiet to the south. We will not tolerate the attempts of the terror organizations to interfere with the routine of our daily lives. We will continue to act with force and power against the forces of terror arrayed against us, as we have been doing in recent days.”

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) attacked nine different terrorist targets in Gaza overnight Saturday. In a statement, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the targets were a weapons manufacturing site in northern Gaza, a weapons manufacturing site and a terrorist center in central Gaza, and three concealed rocket launchers and three terrorist centers in southern Gaza.

The statement said the airstrikes were in retaliation for a rocket assault by Gaza terrorists on southern Israel.

Two rockets fell in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council area Saturday night, one exploding in open ground outside of Sderot, and the other making a direct hit on the "Denber" plastic factory.

The factory was set ablaze in a massive fire, which engulfed an adjacent paint factory as well. Ten firefighting units from Sderot, Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon and Netivot eventually succeeded in controlling the fire and prevent it from spreading to other factories after an hour-long struggle with the massive blaze.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that Israel “would not allow these incidents to pass unanswered. We have zero tolerance for terror acts like these designed to make Israelis feel less secure.”

The European Union condemned the rocket fire on Israel and called on all sides to act with “patience.” In a statement, the EU also reiterated its condemnation for the kidnapping of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Gilad Sha'ar (16).