Father of 4 killed as Gaza missiles pound Israel
An Israeli man was killed and dozens more were wounded on Saturday night when Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip unleashed a torrent of mortar and rocket fire on southern Israel.
More than 40 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza between Saturday evening and mid-morning Sunday. The attacks included a number of medium-range Grad missiles.
Moshe Ami was originally listed as "moderately injured," but his condition rapidly deteriorated as he was transfered to a local hospital. Two hours later, he died on the operating table. Moshe Ami is survived by four children.
In addition to the numerous casualties, most of the residents of southern Israel were forced to spend the night in bomb shelters. Schools in the region canceled studies for Sunday so as not to further endanger the lives of local children. One of the buildings damaged in the overnight bombardment was a schoolhouse in the port city of Ashdod.
Israeli forces responded to the rocket fire by targeting terrorist cells and rocket fire locations in the Gaza Strip. At least 10 Islamic Jihad terrorists were reportedly killed in the strikes.
Earlier on Saturday, the Israeli army had attacked an Islamic Jihad training facility in Gaza, killing five terrorists, including the group's top local commander, Ahmed Sheikh Khalil.
Mortar, Rocket Attacks Every Six Minutes
Hamas and allied terrorists attacked southern Israel with rockets and mortar shells at the rate of one every six minutes at dawn Sunday.
Islamic Jihad appeared to be behind most of the attacks over the past 48 hours, but Hamas has done nothing to stop the sudden offensive, one week after kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was freed in exchange for 477 terrorists and security prisoners.
An additional 550 are to be released in less than two months, and several political leaders also are demanding that they remain in prison
PM, Barak Warn Hamas over rocket fire: Don't test us
Netanyahu reiterates policy of retaliation when Israelis are harmed; Peres calls rocket fire a "borderline declaration of war"; defense minister, president vow IDF will do everything necessary to protect Israelis.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday reiterated the Israeli government's policy of strict retaliation against those that harm Israelis, warning both Islamic Jihad and Hamas not to test Israel. His comments came the day after an Israeli man was killed by shrapnel when a Grad rocket hit Ashdod, and nine Palestinians were reported dead in IAF strikes on terror targets in the Strip.
Speaking at the opening of a medical school in Safed, Netanyahu went on to stress the importance of remembering that "Hamas is the ruling power in Gaza, and it is [the organization's] responsibility to preserving the quiet and to prevent [rocket] fire" from the Strip," even if those launching the rockets are from Islamic Jihad.
During the meeting, Barak examined plans for continued IDF operations in Gaza to stop the rocket attacks on Israel. The defense minister added, "We will do everything to protect the citizens of Israel."
Also speaking at the medical school in Safed, President Shimon Peres said "the government and the IDF will do everything necessary in order to secure residents of the South and to put an end to this intolerable situation."
In a message to "our Arab neighbors," the president said, "neither we nor you want war, but [the] rockets from Gaza are [a borderline] declaration of war. Reckless groups cannot be allowed to endanger our peace."
Just more news in the category of "rumors of war" - all while the U.S. continues its military build-up in the Gulf (see below).