IDF soldier, civilian killed as over 140 rockets hit Israel

Rocket strikes Rishon Lezion apartment building, injuring 6.

November 20, 2012 15:00
2 minute read.
Rocket-damaged Kiryat Malachi home

Rocket-damaged Kiryat Malachi home. (photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)


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Gazan fire killed an IDF soldier and an Israeli civilian on Tuesday, as over 140 rockets rained down on Israel throughout the day.

Cpl. Yosef Partuk, 18, of Emanuel was killed Tuesday morning in a mortar attack in the Eshkol Regional Council area, the IDF released for publication Tuesday evening. Partuk was posthumously promoted to corporal. The civilian killed was a Beduin from one of the South's unrecognized villages.

The announcements came on the heels of a Gaza rocket attack that lightly injured six people after striking an apartment building in the central city of Rishon Letzion.The upper floors of the building went up in flames, according to Channel 2.

Also Tuesday evening, a person was moderately to seriously wounded when a rocket fired from Gaza struck a building in Ashkelon.

That attack followed a barrage of rockets fired at Ashdod, in which seven people were lightly injured after two direct rocket hits on the city, including one that completely destroyed a grocery store.

Earlier Tuesday, two rockets fired from Gaza towards Jerusalem landed in the Gush Etzion region, with one hitting an open area of a Palestinian village in the West Bank, police and the IDF reported. It was unclear if the rocket caused any damage or injuries, although AFP reported Palestinian paramedics made their way to the scene.

The rocket set off the warning siren in the nation's capital for the second time since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense. The two rockets that set off the first such siren on Friday also landed outside the city.

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Also on Tuesday, a salvo of rockets and mortars moderately wounded a reserve Armored Corps IDF officer near the Gaza border. Emergency forces evacuated the officer to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.

Palestinians fired some 20 rockets at Beersheba Tuesday morning, following a relatively quiet night on the home front. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted at least 11 of the Grad rockets but three struck the city, damaging a bus, homes and a car but causing no injuries.

Dozens more Palestinian rockets flew toward southern Israel throughout Tuesday, with direct hits also reported in Kiryat Malachi and Sderot. Iron Dome intercepted at least five rockets on trajectories toward populated areas.

Click on the image to enlarge

The Israel Air Force has struck more than 1,400 targets in Gaza since Operation Pillar of Defense, entering its seventh day on Tuesday, began with the targeted killing of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari last Wednesday.

MDA forces have dealt with over 252 casualties since the beginning of the Gaza operation, including three killed by a rocket in Kiryat Malachi and 21 injured as a result of falling shrapnel. Iron Dome has intercepted more than 350 rockets in total since the start of the operation.

Tovah Lazaroff and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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