Israel shuts down; schools closed, work cancelled, bomb shelters opened.
Since 6:00 PM Monday evening, over 300 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel, forcing citizens throughout Israel into bomb shelters and security rooms. 31 Israeli’s have been injured. Following a direct hit on a building, a family of four were injured. The father, 40, is in serious condition, his wife, 39, is in moderate condition & their two children were lightly wounded. An 82-year-old and a 63-year-old were also lightly injured in the rocket attack.
The upsurge in violence began after Hamas threatened Israel on Monday that it would launch rockets due to the ongoing clashes in Jerusalem regarding the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood evictions, and shortly after 6 p.m. seven rockets were fired towards the capital. Since then, over 250 rockets have been targeted toward Israel.
IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said that the combined rocket attacks towards Jerusalem, Gaza border communities and the anti-tank guided missile that hit a civilian vehicle “is a significant event that won’t go by quietly.Hamas will feel our response to this event…it will not last several minutes, but days,” he warned.
This is the first time since Operation Protective Edge in 2014 that a red siren was heard in Jerusalem. Over the past few weeks, Jerusalem has been on high alert. Earlier Monday Palestinians attempted to lynch a Jewish driver next to Jerusalem’s Old City where riots are taking place. The mob threw large numbers of rocks at the victim’s car as he drove by, causing him to lose control and crash. They then attempted to pull him from the car and lynch him but a police officer came to his rescue. A 7-month-old baby girl was hit in the head with a rock thrown at her family’s car by Palestinian rioters near the Old City of Jerusalem. The rock shattered the window and hit the baby who was sitting in the back. According to local news reports, the teddy bear toy that was with the 7-month-old absorbed part of the impact of the rock and saved the baby’s life. She was treated at a Hospital in Jerusalem.
Violent riots are breaking out throughout the country. Late last night in the area of Ramle- Lod, Muslim mobs attacked Jewish targets in solidarity with Hamas, leaving behind scenes reminiscent of Nazi Gemany in the 1930’s. As part of the Pogrom, the rioters desecrated synagogues, Torah Scrolls and Jewish Schools. Mayor of Lod Yair Revivo stated Tuesday that it was a “ sad morning for all of us in Lod, 70 years of coexistence were trampled on by Arabs in a series of pogroms. While it is not clear at all where this came from, there was nothing that justified such severe acts of hatred.” Residents of Lod, feared for their lives and were under strict order from the police to “lock yourselves in your homes”.
Following a security assessment and cabinet discussion regarding the rocket fire, Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared a special situation on the home front within a range of 80 kilometers from the Gaza Strip for the next 48 hours. The cities of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Bnei Brak, Givatayin and Ramat Gan all opened their public bomb shelters. The municipalities of Rishon Lezion, Holon, Bat Yam, Rehovot, Lod and Ness Ziona have also decided to cancel studies for Tuesday.
Following the rocket-fire, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj.-Gen. Rassan Alian announced the immediate closure of the Erez and Kerem Shalom Crossings until further notice, except for humanitarian and exceptional cases.“The Hamas terrorist organization is accountable for all that is done in and from the Gaza Strip toward the State of Israel, and it will therefore bear the consequences for the violence committed against the country’s citizens,” COGAT said in a statement.
The number of cities under threat continues to grow – sirens continue to sound in the South and many fear Central Israel as the next target. Residents depending on where they live, have between 15 to 60 seconds to take cover. Each new wave of terror brings up all the trauma, anxiety and PTSD from past attacks. For those who witnessed their homes in destruction, watched helplessly as family members were injured while running to safety, and mourned the death of loved ones due to terror, each siren forces them to relieve their pain, injury, and loss. OneFamily would like to offer them some respite during these difficult times. They need our help and we need you!