Gaza explosion in car with crowd.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
“I do not suggest that anyone test the State of Israel’s resolve,” Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Hamas on Thursday, a day after two Grad-model
Katyusha rockets slammed into Beersheba for the first time since Operation Cast
Lead over two years ago.
On Thursday night, the Israel Air Force struck
Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian news reports said the attack had
been against a car and that one person was killed and three wounded. The IDF
said the targets were linked to Hamas and had been involved in terrorist
IDF shoots three terrorists near Gaza border
Palestinians shell Negev with Grads, mortar attacks
Shortly after the rockets smashed into Beersheba on Wednesday
night, the IAF bombed targets throughout the Gaza Strip,
including launchers the
Islamic Jihad had used to fire the rockets. Three members of the rocket- firing
cell were wounded.
Later that night, the IAF again bombed a number of
Hamas targets, causing extensive damage. The targets included tunnels, weapons
factories and military outposts.
Netanyahu said he had instructed
military forces to respond to the rocket attack on Beersheba immediately,
forcefully and without hesitation.
“We are determined to defend our
citizens and we will not tolerate the shelling of our cities and our civilians,”
he said Thursday during a press conference with visiting Polish Prime Minister
“No country would agree to this. Israel, too, does not accept this
and will act accordingly to defend its citizens.”
Defense Minister Ehud
Barak toured Beersheba on Thursday and promised that the Iron Dome antirocket
defense system would be deployed in the near future along the Gaza border to
defend Israeli towns.
The system underwent a final series of tests last
week by the IAF and has been declared operational.
“It will be deployed
the moment we have the necessary batteries according to the IDF’s understanding,
and what will be best for residents of the area,” Barak said.
officials said the rocket attack on Beersheba probably did not signal the start
of a major escalation between Israel and Hamas. In general, the officials said,
Hamas was holding its fire and, in some cases, even working to prevent other
organizations from launching rockets into Israel. Several hundred long-range
Katyusha rockets are estimated to be in Gaza, and the IDF is concerned that the
current instability in Egypt will lead to an increase in smuggling into the
“Hamas is trying to restrain the other groups,” a senior official
said. “Islamic Jihad is trying to challenge Hamas and tries to attack
even though Hamas is currently committed to the quiet.”
Avigdor Lieberman instructed Israel’s delegation to the United Nations to submit
a complaint to the Security Council and General Assembly over the grad rocket
attacks. “Israel will not remain indifferent to these acts,” Lieberman stressed
in his statement.
Also on Thursday, the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson
Campus and the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva conducted a
In what was described as a successful exercise,
179 “wounded” people were evacuated to the two hospitals after a “chemical
missile” fell in Bnei Brak. The exercise had the cooperation of Magen David
Adom, the Israel Police, the IDF and its Home Front Command, and the Fire
Doctors, nurses, auxiliary and security workers, social
workers, administrators and others participated. Soldiers and mannequins played
the role of victims. An alarm sounded at 11 a.m. So as not to frighten patients,
staffers or visitors, the public address system announced that a drill had
begun. An IDF reserve unit on duty in the hospital wore protective gear,
including masks and colorful suits, and began to strip “victims” down to their
underwear so they could be hosed down with water. They received initial
“treatment” and were sent to the an area near outpatient clinics or the
Beilinson deputy director Dr. Ephrat Harlev, who
commanded the exercise, said it proved the hospitals were ready to cope with a
variety of incidents and to cope well with anything that occurred in real time.