Woman killed in Kassam rocket attack on Sderot

1 moderately hurt as Kassam hits car; attack comes as Livni, Solana meet in w. Negev town; Islamic Jihad, Hamas, claim responsibility.

pissed off Hamas (photo credit: AP)
pissed off Hamas
(photo credit: AP)
A 35-year-old woman was killed Monday when one of three Kassam rockets fired at Sderot struck a car. She was the first Israeli killed in a rocket attack since November. A 20-year-old man was moderately wounded in the rocket attack and twelve people were suffering from shock. Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Palestinian Resistance Committee (PRC) claimed responsibility for the attack. Streets were blocked in the area following the incident and Sderot residents ran towards the scene to try and locate loved ones. The Home Front Command was working with police to keep people away from the site. The attack came as EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni were meeting in the western Negev town.
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  • Late-night booms punctuate sad routine for MDA Livni said during a joint press conference with Solana in Sderot that Israel did not consider the option of a cease-fire as feasible, because to Hamas it was only an opportunity to rearm and not to adhere to the true meaning of a cease-fire. Following the attack, Sderot residents threatened to burn the tires of the car carrying the two in protest of the lack of protection from rocket attacks, and after the press conference, residents blocked the foreign minister's path, preventing her from leaving the area. "Tzipi Livni you're a whore! Quit! Quit!" angry Sderot residents shouted, charging at a car where they thought the foreign minister was traveling. One of the protesters was wounded in the violence. When Livni emerged in a different car several moments later, protesters threw trash and various objects at the vehicle. One woman attacked policemen who had just arrested her husband, one of the protesters. David Baker, a representative of the Prime Minister's Office present at the scene of the attack told the Jerusalem Post that Israel will not stop retaliatory action against Palestinian extremists. "This is precisely the kind of terror that Israel will not tolerate. We are compelled to continue with defensive measures to prevent these attacks and we will not cease these measures until these Kassam rocket attacks stop," Baker said. Hours earlier, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signed a decision naming Sderot and communities surrounding the Gaza Strip as "conflict zones." The decision will allow residents to receive compensation, not only for damages sustained from direct Kassam rocket hits, but also for indirect damages. Meanwhile, the Knesset's Finance Committee authorized Monday afternoon a financial benefits package to Sderot residents. Earlier Monday, British Ambassador to Israel Tom Phillips, visited Sderot to meet the town's Mayor Eli Moyal and residents, as well as to see some of the damage caused in the town by recent rocket attacks. "This was the third time I have visited Sderot since my arrival in Israel last August, and I wanted to understand the impact of these latest Kassam attacks and personally to express the sympathy of my government to the people of Sderot for the suffering they are undergoing," said Phillips. "I heard many moving stories and also saw much to admire in the way people are coping with an extremely difficult situation. It is terrible that civilian life in southern Israel is under daily fire. The Palestinians must stop these attacks. Israel is in a difficult position, and has the right to defend itself from such attacks against its civilians. But any response should be in accordance with international law, and should seek to avoid civilian casualties," he continued. Eight more rockets landed in the western Negev including four in Sderot earlier on Monday. There were no casualties but several greenhouses were damaged. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack on Sderot.