As Israel begins Operation Pillar of Defense to counter the continuous rocket fire that has been indiscriminately targeting Israeli civilians, three Israelis were killed and six more were wounded when a Hamas rocket hit an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi Thursday morning. Arutz Sheva reported that the three killed included a married couple in their thirties and an individual in his twenties. The married woman was pregnant. Among the six injured, two of them were infants. An additional four-year-old boy in Kiryat Malachi was also seriously hurt. Six more were treated for shock.

According to the Jerusalem Post, “Blood stains could be seen up and down the stairwell of the Kiryat Malachi building where three Israelis were killed by a Gaza rocket. In the apartments on the top two floors, the damage and disarray appeared almost as if a tornado had crashed into the building and scattered everything asunder.” Evidently, near the southern window that was hit, there were three beds and a baby crib. More people could have easily been harmed.

Dmitri Carol, who lives next door to the destroyed apartment building where three died, claims that he was at a nearby synagogue celebrating Rosh Chodesh when the siren went off. Rami Raphaeli, who lives about five minutes away from the site of the Kiryat Malachi attack, asserted that his children, especially his seventeen-year-old daughter, are very much living in fear and his whole family was against him going to work because of the rocket attacks. In sum, the rocket attacks have disturbed his family’s normal routine, as they reorganize their lives to stay as close to bomb shelters as humanly possible.

Islamists in Gaza fired another grad rocket to Kiryat Malachi at about 10:30 AM Israeli time. Evidently, the Iron Dome took this particular rocket out. Nevertheless, the Israeli Police are still urging residents to remain in or near protected areas, for even when the Iron Dome succeeds to take out a grad rocket; people can still get injured by the shrapnel falling to the ground. Arutz Sheva reported that at least one person in Ashdod was hurt when they were struck by shrapnel from a rocket the Iron Dome destroyed.

Over 200 rockets have been fired into Southern Israel within the last twenty four hours.
Operation Pillar of Defense began with the targeted killing of Ahmed Jabari, Hamas’s military chief in Gaza. According to the Times of Israel, “Jabari was credited with being one of the leaders of Hamas’s violent putsch to take control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, and masterminded the professionalization of the organization’s military.” Israel has continued to take out terrorist infrastructure since Jabari’s death, in order to ensure that Southern Israelis can live in peace and quiet.

Watch the video below that illustrates the damage caused by rocket attacks

Reported by Rachel Avraham for United With Israel