3 Dead, 160 Injured in Rocket Barrage on Haifa

Three Israelis were killed and scores more wounded in a rocket barrage that slammed into Haifa a few minutes before 8:00 pm Sunday evening.

Hana Levi Julian , | updated: 8:10 PM

Victims continued to arrive at Haifa hospitals hours after the attack for which 160 people were treated for physical injuries and psychological trauma. Four people were reported in serious but not life-threatening condition, and seven others suffered moderate wounds. Security officials said at least one of the rockets was a 220-mm Syrian-made missile.

The rocket barrage scored several direct hits, including two apartment buildings and a car. One building reportedly absorbed five rockets. An eyewitness told the Haaretz news service that those who were killed had not gone into bomb shelters or protected rooms when the air raid siren sounded.

Magen David Adom medics and firefighters rushed to the scene. Rescue personnel immediately began digging through the rubble of the two collapsed buildings, looking for other victims who might have been trapped below. Rescuers said they were concerned about a pervasive smell of gas, which they feared would explode into additional flames.

The three dead: Labiba Mazawi, 67, and Hone Hamam, 62 - both of whom were buried in the Christian Arab cemetery in Haifa - and Roni Rubinsky, 30 of Kiryat Motzkin.

Most of the victims were reported with moderate to light injuries, including a small baby. They were evacuted to Rambam Hospital and other Haifa-area medical facilities, which were alerted to prepare for a large number of injured civilians.

According to an Army Radio reporter, three air raid sirens sounded prior to the attack. "There was enough time for people to reach shelter,” said the reporter, who added that rescue workers were adamant that civilians should stay in protected rooms and bomb shelters until told by security personnel it is safe to leave.

Rescue workers also emphasized that civilians who leave the shelters in order to help dig through rubble or otherwise assist medics and Zaka workers are not welcome. "You can't help," said a rescue worker. "That's what we're here for. Stay safe."