IAF bombs Gaza targets after Kassam attack

Weapons production site, tunnels hit; woman lightly wounded as rocket hits Sderot backyard.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 19, 2009 18:30
2 minute read.
IAF bombs Gaza targets after Kassam attack

kassam damage in sderot 248.88. (photo credit: Channel 2)

 
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Several hours after Palestinians fired a Kassam rocket into a Sderot residential area for the first time in over two months, the IAF responded by bombing targets in the Gaza Strip. The army said it attacked two weapons production sites in Gaza City and four smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border. Four people were reportedly wounded in the strikes. The Kassam launched earlier by terrorists in the Strip slammed into a storeroom in the backyard of a home. A woman was lightly wounded and evacuated to Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital. Several other people were treated for shock, while both the storeroom and the house sustained damage. The rocket was a 115-millimeter projectile, a police source told the Jerusalem Post. A police bomb disposal team retrieved the rocket's remains for analysis shortly after the attack. "These are the types of rockets we have grown accustomed to seeing since 2008," the source added. The attack came as Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno was touring the town with Noam Schalit, father of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. The two visited the home where the rocket landed, and Schalit told residents of the town he identified with their plight. "We went through a war like this in the North and heard plenty of booms," he said. "Straight after arriving in Sderot, the Color Red warning siren was sounded and we heard the loud boom. Unfortunately we are all-too familiar with this." Schalit added that he "doesn't envy Sderot residents" and that he wished the town quiet. When asked about efforts to free his son, he said, "We are waiting patiently and hope to hear good news." The Sderot residents told Schalit to intensify his fight. "Your problem is that you're too gentle and polite, you need to shout," one of them said. "I am also a father and I know what it's like when they take a child from you. You shouldn't carry on like that." Alemanno said he hoped the attack was an isolated incident and that it wouldn't lead to another war and more rocket-fire. He said the fundamentalists were a problem for the entire Western world, not just for Israelis, and vowed that the City of Rome would help Sderot residents repair the damage caused by the Gazan rockets. He also said the city had decided to grant Gilad Schalit honorary citizenship and that Noam would be invited to the city to accept it on his behalf. Tuesday's attack also came a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met US President Barack Obama in Washington in which the latter said the situation in Sderot was unacceptable, adding that he'd seen the situation there himself. Earlier Tuesday, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that there was "no chance for an effective peace process so long as Hamas rules the Gaza Strip." Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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