Last night, six rocket attacks from Gaza City have shattered the weeks of relative calm in Southern Israel.
CALM IS SHATTERED
Last night, rocket attacks from Gaza City have shattered the weeks of relative calm in Southern Israel. Six rockets were fired towards Southern Israel. One of the rockets landed in the predominately Bedouin city of Rahat, while the others landed in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council, near Be’er Sheva, and another one exploded in the Lachish Regional Council. Three more rockets were fired toward the Ashkelon Regional Council, of which two were intercepted by the Iron Dome. There were no reports of damage or injuries. Islamic Jihad took responsibility for this latest wave of rocket attacks.
“We’re pretty shocked at the whole thing,” Sigal Moran, head of the Bnei Shimon Regional Council, told Yedioth Achronot. “I still hope it was a mistake and not the beginning of another era of emergency routine. We thought we’d have some peace. I hope it was sporadic and will not repeat itself, especially now that the kids are entering the summer vacation.”
Mayor of the Bedouin city of Rahat, Faiz Abu Sahiban, reported, “I heard the sirens and then a boom. Residents were panicked; people keep calling me all the time. It’s been a while since we heard sirens but we’re always alert. I don’t know what’s happening in Gaza right now; I’m still waiting for instructions from the Home Front Command so as to calm everyone down.”
In retaliation, Israel targeted two weapons storage facilities and a rocket launching site within Gaza. “The IDF will not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli citizens, and our soldiers will continue to act against anyone who engages in terror against the State of Israel. The Hamas terror organization is held responsible,” the IDF said in a statement. In addition, Israel has closed off the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings, in the wake of the latest terrorist aggression.
LIVING UNDER ROCKET FIRE INCREASES VIOLENCE
It has been firmly established that living under a constant barrage of rocket fire creates many problems, such as dramatically increasing the number of people experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder or suffering from miscarriages. However, a new study from Ben-Gurion University has also discovered that adolescents who live under rocket fire are more likely than their peers to become violent, resulting in increasing crime in areas of Israel that live under fire.
“Such incidents included: hurting someone so badly in a physical fight that they had to seek medical treatment, being involved in a gang fight, being arrested by the police for a violent crime, and having carried a weapon — most likely, a knife,” Ben-Gurion University said. “Levels of severe violence which were relatively low at the beginning of the study, — less than 18 percent — have risen as a function of exposure to rocket attacks, such that each exposure to rocket attacks prior to the commencement of the study has predicted a 2.5 increase in the likelihood of involvement in severe violence,” the university said.
SOUTHERN ISRAEL STILL SPORADICALLY ATTACKED SINCE PILLAR OF DEFENCE
The Sderot Media Centers claims that over 40 rockets have been fired into Southern Israel since the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense, during which time rockets were fired into Southern Israel systematically. Last May, a rocket was fired towards the Eshkol Regional Council as part of a wave of violent actions initiated by Palestinian terrorists who attacked Israel during the Shavuot holiday. Rockets also exploded in Sderot just after children returned from school after the Passover holiday, while four rockets were fired at Israel during President Obama’s visit.
By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel