The Israel Home Front Command has ordered the opening of public bomb shelters in the south, as 65 missiles have been fired from Gaza in the last hour into places like Hof Ashkelon and Ashdod, Kiryat Malaki and Nes Tziona, as well as Gan Yavne and Rehovot, among others. “Code red” sirens sounded in throughout the south (Hof Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, Eshkol, Netivot, Ofakim, Bnei Shimon, Sdot Negev and more) and towards the center of the country, including the Eshkol Regional Council, even as far as Mevasseret Zion and Abu Ghosh, on the northern slope of Jerusalem in the direction of Tel-Aviv. Rockets from Gaza landed near a cemetery in Gan Yavne near the center of Israel.
Residents in the south are being told not to be more than 15 seconds away from a bomb shelter.
The Iron Dome anti-missile system downed 12 rockets aimed towards Ashdod and Netivot. Train movement in the south has been interrupted, as a result of the dozens of rockets that were fired in the south. At least one person in Ashdod was reported to be slightly wounded by shrapnel from one of the rockets. The Iron Dome has been deployed in different locations across Israel.
Magen David Adom (the Israeli emergency medical service) has been put on alert, along with all communities within a range of 40 kilometre (24 miles).
Israel is expected to make a significant response to this latest escalation of hostilities on the part of Hamas. The IDF struck a number of weapons installations in Gaza over the last few days. But, Hamas has thousands of rockets at its disposal, most of which are of the home-made variety at this point, but which are still able to reach to a distance of 75 km. (46 miles).
A major response against Hamas could trigger action by the Hizb’allah in Lebanon and various factions in Syria, all of whom know what their respective roles are to be in a potential military encounter with Israel. Still, Israel has no choice and must go after Hamas and get rid of its capacity to launch rocket attacks against civilian population centres.
The U.S. State Department condemned the rocket attacks from Gaza and supports Israel’s right defend itself. But Secretary of State John Kerry communicated with P.M. Netanyahu and reportedly said that Israel and the “Palestinians” should act with restraint. Restraint! With over 65 rockets raining down on populated areas with the goal of causing as much damage and harm as possible, we are being told to exercise “restraint”. If this is what our “friend” is telling us, we can only imagine what other countries, who are not “friends” are saying. We are the only country in the world which is not allowed to defend itself the way it should. And, if we do, we are accused of over-reacting and worse.
That’s the situation for now.
Elijah was a person just like us. But, he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and none was forthcoming for 3-1/2 years. The effective, fervent prayers of a righteous person avails much.