Daily Israel Report

Security Zone in N. Gaza Created, Sderot Remains Exposed

The IDF began enforcing a security zone in northern Gaza Wednesday evening, shelling targets in the region as part of “Operation Blue Skies.”
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 12/29/2005, 1:16 PM / Last Update: 12/28/2005, 10:06 PM

The operation is aimed at ending rocket attacks on western Negev communities and the Ashkelon industrial area, including the strategic power plant. Towns such as Sderot, though, remain exposed to rocket attacks.

Northern Gaza residents were warned in leaflets dropped by IDF planes earlier in the day not to enter the zone, beginning after 6:00 PM Wednesday. Those who disregard the warning, risk to their lives, the leaflets warned. Arab residents told Israel Radio, however, that they have no intention of leaving their homes.

A Kassam rocket launched from Beit Hanoun landed just south of Sderot a few hours before the security zone went into effect. No injuries or damage were reported.

Arutz-7 military correspondent Haggai Huberman reports that the security zone consists of the destroyed communities of Elei Sinai, Dugit and Nissanit, whereas the populated area of Beit Hanoun is being left alone, even though it is the source of the majority of Kassam fire. "While Ashkelon is being protected, the lives of those living in Beit Hanoun are still being valued above those of the Jews living in Sderot," Huberman said.

Shortly after the security zone went into effect, an Arab man trying to fire a Kassam rocket with two accomplices was wounded when he entered the zone, defying the IDF ban.

Meanwhile, a new armor that will protect roofs against Kassam rockets has been approved for use in buildings located within the ever-growing range of Kassam rockets, according to the Globes business news website.

Israel Military Industries Ltd. CEO Avi Felder said the armor is inexpensive but very effective for all types of roofs. IMI was chosen by the IDF Home Front Command to develop the technology.