Land of Miracles Repels Rockets

Whether because of Psalms, the Home Front or the Almighty, only two percent of rockets so far have scored direct hits on the "Land of Miracles".

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu ,

First-grade children under a prayer shawl
First-grade children under a prayer shawl
Flash 90

Whether because of Psalms, the Home Front or the Almighty, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday that only two percent of Hamas rockets score direct hits in Israel, often referred to as the "Land of Miracles".

Sixty percent of the missiles have fallen in open areas while 40 percent exploded in built-up areas, he added. However, only 10 percent partially struck buildings while two percent slammed directly into buildings.

Observers might explain that most of the western Negev comprises unsettled area, but that explanation goes by the boards concerning the more than 125 rockets that have hit the crowded population centers of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Be'er Sheva.

Working on the principle of not expecting a miracle from the Almighty without taking necessary precautions, the Home Front Command has prevented several tragedies by ordering the cancellations of schools and the closure of pre-school facilities in areas within 40 kilometers (26 miles) of Gaza.

Katyusha missiles hit an empty kindergarten in Ashdod Monday afternoon. Thirty children usually fill the room, which sustained heavy damage in the attack.

Last week, a rocket in Be'er Sheva slammed into a high school, where hundreds of students normally learn. If they had been in the building, the disaster would have been indescribable because they could not have reached a fortified shelter within the 60 seconds between the activation of rocket warning sirens and the strike.

Dozens of eyewitnesses have reported that rockets landed several feet from where they were standing or from where they had been several minutes before the time of impact.

The national unity supporting Israel's war on terrorism has enlisted unlikely sources to join the recital of prayers. Two broadcasters for Army Radio, a bastion of secular and often anti-nationalist programming, recited a prayer from the Book of Psalms on Sunday.

Radio Darom, the southern outlet of the intensely secular Voice of Israel, featured the recital of a Psalm on Monday. However, the Voice of Israel's flagship Reshet Bet network has not yet joined in.



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