Day 5 of Gaza operation: Beersheba under intensive Hamas rocket attack.

Nine sophisticated, heavy Grad rockets had hit Beersheba by the end of Day 5 of the Israeli operation against Hamas, Wednesday Dec. 31. Most exploded in built-up areas. One dropped through the ceiling of an empty classroom. Twenty-one shock victims taken were hospitalized.
Beersheba’s 250,000 citizens were ordered to stay close to solid buildings and schools were shut until further notice. Beersheba University has suspended studies and New Year festivities cancelled. Missiles also struck Netivot, Ofakim,Yavne, the Eshkol farming district and Sderot, causing damage and light injuries. Omer and Hatzerim went on their first missile alert.
Beersheba is the largest town and the most distant, 40 km, from Gaza ever to come under rocket attack. The first two were fired Tuesday night, Dec. 30. They sent 54 people in shock to hospital, half of them children, and damaged an empty nursery school. After citizens complained that the alert sirens were not working, soldiers were posted at each one to operate them manually. Local radio stations update Homeland Command directives to residents in several languages – including Russian and Amharic for new immigrants
Tuesday, as Palestinian missile and rockets against several Israeli towns and villages mounted to 50, Israel called up another 2,500 reservists and rejected ceasefire calls as premature.
The call-up order raises the number of reservists Israel has mobilized for the Gaza operation to 9,200. Israeli tank, infantry, armored and artillery units are massed outside the northern, central and southern Gaza Strip awaiting orders to go in.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email