We’re technically into day 8 of Operation Pillar of Cloud but I just wanted to update before I close for the night.
Sadly today two more Israelis were killed by rocket fire in the south. One victim was an IDF soldier, 18 year old Yosef Partuk, the second victim was a local Bedouin:
Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at a kibbutz in the Eshkol region on Tuesday killed 18-year-old IDF soldier Yosef Partok and Alian Salem Alanbari, a married man with children from the Bedouin village of Rejwan in the Negev.
Five other soldiers stationed on the kibbutz on the Israel-Gaza border were injured in the attack.
Partok was the fourth Israeli and Alanbari the fifth to be killed in rocket attacks since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense last Wednesday. Three residents of the southern town of Kiryat Malachi died in a rocket strike on their home on Thursday.
The fallen soldier grew up in a Haredi family in the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel, the ultra-Orthodox news site Kikar Shabbat reported.
Partok was posthumously promoted to the rank of corporal by the Israel Defense Forces.
Alanbari was a building contractor who worked for the Defense Ministry.
Amongst all the many direct hits on buildings in Israel today, one stands out as a first: a building in Rishon LeZion, a city very near to Tel Aviv took a direct hit with 2 people lightly hurt:
A residential building in the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion was directly hit by a rocket that was fired by Hamas, lightly injuring two people. Three others suffered panic attacks.
The projectile hit the building’s top floor, causing severe damage. Most of the residents sought shelter upon hearing the air raid siren that sounded around 6 pm. The attack marks the first time that Hamas manages to hit a populated area in central Israel, after previous rockets that were fired towards the region were intercepted or exploded in open areas.
Liora and Ami Pinhas, a couple who live on the top floor, said the fact that they survived the attack was “a miracle.”
“God saved us,” Liora said. “We heard the siren, went into the shelter and then we head a loud blast… when we came out we could hardly open the door, and then we saw that our house was gone. Nothing was left.
“It’s an indescribable miracle that we’re alive,” she added.
Certainly G-d saved them – but also the fact that they listened to the IDF Home Command very clear instructions on how to protect oneself during a rocket attack.
As for the rumours about a ceasefire, so far no agreement has been reached, and the IDF is striking Gaza’s terrorist targets as hard as it can.
The IDF continued to strike dozens of terrorist infrastructures in Gaza on Tuesday evening, as part of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF Spokesman said in a statement.
Among the targets hit on Tuesday were tunnels that are used to smuggle weapons, as well as tunnels through which fuel is transferred to terrorists (video below).
IAF aircraft also hit a Gaza bank used by Hamas, a site promoting terrorist activity in southern Gaza, Hamas’s headquarters in northern Gaza, a military apartment and a meeting place for senior terrorist operatives.
Also targeted were four weapons storage sites and two weapons manufacturing sites.
In addition, IAF aircraft hit terrorist squads who were trying to fire anti-tank missiles, as well as other terrorists throughout Gaza. Navy fighters as well as IAF aircraft attacked several rocket launching points and seven hidden launchers.
Earlier it was reported that half of Tuesday’s strikes were aimed at terrorist cells that were engaged in firing rockets at Israel. Six known Hamas terrorists and one known Islamic Jihad terrorist were killed over the course of the day.
Twenty terrorists were injured in airstrikes as they attempted to fire Grad missiles.
In one of Tuesday’s most deadly strikes, IAF planes hit a weapons convoy in Gaza City. Strikes on two vehicles carrying bombs set off secondary explosions in which six people were killed. According to local media, two of the victims were children.
A Tuesday night strike took out Islamic Jihad terrorist Yunus Shaluf, who was responsible for rocket attacks on the city of Eilat in August.
May we all have a quiet night tonight, especially the residents of the south. May Hashem protect our soldiers and civilians and keep them safe.