Daily Israel Report

Kassam Rockets on Sderot During and After the Holiday

Arab terrorists fired several Kassams at Sderot just prior to the Simchat Torah holiday, and another round late last night. No one was hurt. The IDF responded with massive fire at open areas.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 10/26/2005, 4:24 PM / Last Update: 10/26/2005, 11:12 AM

The Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, making good on its threat to avenge the killing of #1 wanted terrorist Luis Saadi by the IDF earlier this week, fired between three and five Kassam rockets at southern Sderot late Monday afternoon. Top Israeli security sources said the order came from the Jihad's Syrian headquarters. Just a month ago, terrorists fired a barrage of 40 Kassam rockets at Negev areas, wounding some five Israelis.

One Sderot resident, whose house faces Beit Hanoun, said he could see the Kassams as they were fired on Monday. The IDF quickly retaliated with artillery fire towards the Gaza city of Beit Hanoun, from where the rockets were shot.

Despite Israel's response, which also included the closing of the Erez and Karni crossings out of Gaza, another Kassam was fired last night (Tuesday) - leading to more intensive artillery and aircraft fire on Gaza. The terrorists fired yet another Kassam rocket towards Netiv HaAsarah, north of Gaza, this afternoon.

Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal said yesterday that the IDF's weak reaction "encourages [the terrorists] to continue to fire Kassams." He noted that the army's orders were "to shoot with the purpose of not hitting civilians, to make frightening ultra-sonic booms and to fire at open areas... This is not encouraging for the residents of Sderot."

"I don't want to kill children," Mayor Moyal told Army Radio this morning, "but if children have to be killed on one of the sides, I prefer that it be on the other side."

Schools in Sderot, which continue to be closed today for the just-ended Sukkot holiday, are considering whether or not to open tomorrow. At least one school has already announced that it will remain closed "in protest against the Kassam rockets." The city has reinforced some kindergarten roofs, and is continuing to carry out this work on other educational institutions.