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Shells and Rockets Continue to Pound Gush Katif

The Jewish communities of Gush Katif continue to be incessantly targeted by mortar shells and rockets. A shell landed in a home atop a father and baby, and didn't explode; they were not hurt.
First Publish: 9/19/2004, 3:26 PM / Last Update: 9/19/2004, 11:54 AM

The Jewish communities [yishuvim] of Gush Katif continue to be incessantly targeted by mortar shells and other rockets. Following an unprecedented barrage of 19 shells in the space of less than 90 minutes the day before Rosh HaShanah, another nine Kassam rockets and shells were fired and exploded in four yishuvim over the course of the holiday.

Residents of N'vei Dekalim report a "miracle" last night when a shell landed on a house, crashed through the roof - and then stopped short, without exploding. Underneath were standing a young father and his 16-month-old daughter, who were showered with dust, but were not hurt.

The targeted towns over the holiday were Morag, Gadid, N'vei Dekalim and Netzer Hazani. Damage was caused only to a youth club in Netzer Hazani. People were standing within meters of the building, reciting the traditional Tashlich prayer, but no one was hurt. The building, in which the town's youth spend much of their time, happened to be unoccupied when the shell hit. This was at least the fourth time that the same building was damaged in a shelling attack; five youths were wounded in the first attack, in April 2001.

Three shells landed in N'vei Dekalim last night, while another one exploded in the Erez Industrial Zone; damage was caused only to the house in which the father and baby were standing and escaped unharmed. "The father at first did not understand what was going on," reports Katif.net, "but later understood that a great miracle had occurred in front of his eyes. The shell penetrated the roof of the building, and landed on the layer of plaster below it - the ceiling of the room below - without even falling through to the man and his daughter standing beneath it."

Sources in the Katif communities have expressed the fear that the lack of military response to the continuing Arab shelling "may signal that a policy exists not to respond to the shelling in order to weaken the brave Gush Katif residents who heroically withstand the daily barrages of the terrorists."

This morning, four more mortar shells were fired towards Kfar Darom; the remnants of at least one was found nearby. Two terrorist cells engaged in placing bombs near the Karni Crossing in Gaza were sighted and shot at by IDF soldiers in the course of the night; two terrorists were hit and the others escaped.