Netivot house takes direct hit from Grad missile

House in Netivot damaged by a long-range Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip

House in Netivot damaged by a direct hit from a long-range Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip

The rocket fire from the terrorists in Gaza onto Israel’s’ southern communities has not let up, despite the dearth of reports in the mainstream media.  Last night (Saturday night) the missile fire caused a direct hit on a house in Netivot, and another Grad missile fell in open area in Beer Sheva.  Several people were hurt, life was disrupted once again as schools were closed for security reasons, but there were miraculous escapes too.

Three Grad-type rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel late Saturday and early Sunday, with one rocket scoring a direct hit on a home in Netivot, Army Radio reported Sunday. A man who was inside in the Netivot home was not hurt, but the structure, and several neighboring homes, sustained massive damage.

Three people were hurt when they fell while running to a bomb shelter, and four more people were treated for shock.

Two rockets were launched overnight, with one hitting Netivot and the other striking the Beersheba area. The second rocket has not yet been located. Early Sunday, a third rocket exploded within Gaza territory, but not before setting off the warning siren in Ashkelon.

Schools were closed in Beersheba on Sunday morning, in accordance with the stated city policy: “If there is shooting, there is no learning.” Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich told Army Radio that “when there is doubt, I have to exercise responsible judgment.”

“There are quite a few buildings in our education system that are not protected. There is always a deliberation when it comes to these kinds of decisions, and we coordinate with the Homefront Command and security bodies. But when there is uncertainty, it cannot be completely eliminated,” Danilovich said.

He voiced hope that calm would soon be restored. “I don’t see the State of Israel retaliating, and that is the more serious issue, unfortunately,” he continued.

Ashdod’s school system was also closed on Sunday.

Netivot’s school system, however, was running as usual:

Netivot Mayor Yehiel Zohar told Army Radio that life in his city had returned to normal. He explained that his decision to operate schools as usual was in accordance with defense establishment recommendations.

“We have grown accustomed to such incidents and put our trust in the national authorities to provide solutions,” said Zohar.

Netivot house suffers direct hit from Grad

Netivot house damaged by direct hit from Grad missile from Gaza

The survivor of the destroyed house in Netivot says his survival is due to a miracle:

“This was a miracle,” said Grad missile attack survivor Pinny Azoulai, who was saved by an early-warning siren and a quick escape from his bedroom. The rocket slammed into one home and damaged a neighboring house.

Azoulai told Army Radio Sunday he was sleeping at the time of the attack.

“I heard the siren and jumped out of bed and then ran to the entrance of the house,” He then decided he would be better protected in the bathroom, a move which may have saved his life.

“Just as I entered the bathroom, there was a loud explosion. My heart still is beating fast,” he said. He was surrounded by the debris of the collapsed house, which was a total loss. Azoulai still suffers from ringing in his ears.

His brother Yuval said, “His escape was a miracle. We have lived in this reality for a long time,” he added. “This was a direct hit on the house, and we will not be living here for a long time.”

Ten people were treated for shock and physical injuries in the missile strikes on Netivot and later on Be’er Sheva, where the rocket fell in an open area.

Three people in Be’er Sheva suffered injuries when they fell while running to bomb shelters. Seven people, four in Be’er Sheva and three in Netivot, were treated for shock, and three people were evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, according to Magen David Adom.

Miracles aside, Netivot’s residents justly complain that they are not protected by the Iron Dome anti-missile system:

A rocket attack that targeted Netivoton Saturday night has raised questions about the southern Israeli city’s readiness for such incidents.

One of the Grad rockets that were fired overnight severely damaged two homes, miraculously failing to injure anyone but causing several panic attacks. In the wake of the strike, residents said they were victims of discrimination.

“To find out this way that the Iron Dome no longer protects our city, it makes us feel like second-class citizens, like we don’t matter,” said Meir Shitrit, a resident who stopped to observe the aftermath of the blast. “Maybe because of Iran, Tel Aviv needs it more.”

He called for the deployment of the missile defense system across the region.

“We’re still at risk,” he said. “Now we understand what the residents of Sderot and the Gaza vicinity communities go through,” he said.

Doron, a father of three, shared the sentiment.

“By now they should have installed an Iron Dome battery in every southern city,” he said.

In response to the missile fire, the Prime Minister promised retribution against the terrorists.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday vowed retribution for rocket fire into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip overnight Saturday, saying, “I am entirely obligated to make clear to the terrorists that they cannot fire rockets at Israel with impunity.”

At the opening of a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu said, “You arrived on a day when our security is once again being tested…They paid a price in the past for these crimes and they will pay a price again,” Netanyahu stated, apparently promising a military response to the rocket fire.

Westerwelle stated that Germany condemns “every kind of terrorist attack against Israel. We stand together with Israel.”

Indeed, the IDF has been very busy against the Palestinian terror groups who are busy launching rockets and missiles against Israel:

On Wednesday night, IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist squad in the central Gaza Strip during final preparations to fire rockets at Israel. Palestinian sources said at least three men were killed in the air strike, and one wounded. The cell had been involved in rocket fire on southern Israel in the past, according to the IDF.

On Thursday morning, the IDF attacked a terrorist cell attempting to place a bomb on the Gaza border. Infantrymen from the Givati Brigade along with tanks and aircraft successfully struck the cell. Palestinian sources said that three people were killed by IDF fire in the incident.

But as the Netivot residents demand, it is about time their city was protected as well as Sderot.  And it’s about time that our government took firm and decisive action against the terrorists in Gaza to put a stop once and for all to this rocket fire which makes life all but impossible for the citizens in the south of the country.

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7 Responses to Netivot house takes direct hit from Grad missile

  1. Pete says:

    I am very glad the man in the house escaped death. That was CLOSE. The Grad is carrying 18-20 kg of high explosive … he could have easily been killed. God was watching over his Bathroom. Hahahahahaha! Sorry – but we have to see the humor in this one :-)

    The problem with Iron Dome is that it is not very cost effective. The Government cannot really come out and tell its citizens this – but I am guessing these anti-missile shots by Iron Dome cost a lot. Hence your IDF has to choose whether to activate the system of not. Practically, if they believe the Grad could pose a high risk to life then they may shoot it down. If they think the risk is small – they probably will not shoot. I do not want to speak for the IDF – I am just guessing their policy. But what I am saying is logical, and I would not be surprised if it is what they are doing. And from a cost-effective viewpoint, I really cannot fault the IDF for adopting this policy. But from a human viewpoint, I definitely understand why people are upset with this development.

    Unfortunately, the Palestinians have found a cheap effective method to cause a lot of headaches to Israelis. The rockets they are using are a form of low-cost death. They are cheap to assemble or buy, and very easy to fire. This is a major headache from the point of view of military strategy. The IDF is hitting back at the Gaza Strip – by doing air strikes and taking out terrorists. But Hamas is not dissuaded by the losses so far.

    Israel actually needs an entirely new approach to this problem. It is not always practical to declare all-out war on the Gaza Strip. Even an air strike by a fighter plane costs more money than a Qassam missile. So Israel needs an inexpensive response to the missile bombardment problem coming from the Palestinians. That is the challenge. And remember what I said before. There is ALWAYS a way!!!

    • anneinpt says:

      Pete, yes, there is always some humour to be found in these situations. G-d protecting the bathroom could be one way of looking at it. :-)

      I am guessing these anti-missile shots by Iron Dome cost a lot. Hence your IDF has to choose whether to activate the system of not

      Your are correct that the Iron Dome rockets cost a fortune. What you need to understand is that it is not the IDF who decides whether to launch an anti-missile rocket. It is the Iron Dome system itself which makes this decision, based on radar, trajectory, computer models etc. If it calculates that the incoming missile will land in open area, it doesn’t shoot. It only shoots if it calculates that the missile will hit a populated area. That’s the whole beauty and genius of the Iron Dome system.

      What Netivot’s residents are complaining about is that there is no Iron Dome battery protecting their town. I’m guessing there will be one placed there shortly. Netivot, although very close to Gaza, was until recently not a target of the Gaza terrorists. Sderot was just more convenient and that bit closer. But things have changed.

      You are 100% correct though that the Palestinians have found a cheap and easy way to not only cause death and injury, but more accurately to completely disrupt normal civilian life in the south. And yes, the government needs to find a way to sort this out. The IDF will carry out what the gov’t orders it to, but it’s a political decision at heart.

      Unfortunately, short of deporting all Gaza’s residents, or at least every single terrorist (and to where? Who would want them? Why would anyone take them just to make life easier for Israel?) I don’t see any long-term solution. All that can be done for the moment is manage the situation.

    • Hunter says:

      How about firing 33 missiles (randomly) at Gaza for every one fired into Israel and stop worrying abut Gaza civilian casualties? Israel has her own versions of Katyushas as well as massive artillery guns. Why allow the Arabs the choice of the time and place where they can fire missiles, better it should be their people who should be building bomb shelters and living nervously on the edge. Israel acts like an impotent old man, she has tons of firepower which she never employs. Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz may both be gone, but their spirit lingers on.

      • anneinpt says:

        Your suggestion has been raised many times in Israel, Hunter, and I must admit I find the idea very appealing. But it won’t work for 2 reasons:

        a) the Israelis are too ethical. It’s not just a matter of Olmert and Peretz’s spirits lingering on, but a matter of principle for Israel. They (we) will never shoot at innocent civilians, no matter how tempting the target – and no matter how much Israel is vilified for doing exactly that even though she does NOT do so.

        b) The Palestinians would be ecstatic to have Israel firing missiles at them. Then they could truly and honestly claim “we are the victims! Look at those heartless Jews, er, I mean Israelis, shooting at innocent Palestinians”. It would not deter the Palestinians one bit; in fact, it would only encourage them to shoot more missiles and yet claim underdog status. Remember, they themselves claim “we love death, you love life”. Perverted I know, but that’s their nature.

  2. Pingback: End Palestinian oppression by their brothers | Anne's Opinions

  3. Bernard says:

    It is absolutely unbelievable that a nation has to put up with this on a daily basis. Over here in our safe European homes the only horror we have to content with is left wing baskets cases, most of whom first emerged onto the political scene from John Hurt’s rib-cage in Aliens 1, droning on in the media. I’m afraid they only way they ( the left) will listen is if they Katushas are flying in over their heads.

    • cba says:

      “I’m afraid they only way they ( the left) will listen is if they Katushas are flying in over their heads.”
      I think you’re optimistic. Past experience indicates they would blame the Jooz Zionists for causing misery among the attackers, who therefore had no choice but to lash out.

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