Kassam rockets pound Sderot, land near school

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Just before classes began this morning, a Kassam rocket landed near an elementary school. Not more than an hour later three more rockets fell inside the city.

The Magen David Adom emergency services treated several people suffering from shock.

Izz al-Din al-Kassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Sappers evacuated the remains of the rocket from the school’s parking lot. Several parents pulled their children out of school while others attended classes as usual.

In spite of this, the education department in Sderot has asked the Education Ministry to shorten the school day. The head of the department said that only one psychologist provided by the ministry was on duty, claiming there is no mercy on the town.

As part of the barrages of rockets pounding the city Yaakov Yaakobov who was hit by a Kassam rocket in a factory in the Sderot industrial zone yesterday, died of his wounds late last night.

The Security Cabinet convened on Wednesday to discuss which measures are suitable for halting the Kassam attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.

A defense ministry source believes the cabinet may decide to step up ground operations against terrorists in Gaza and possibly increase the use of tanks.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz wants to avoid long-term operations in Gaza, and prefers “creative solutions.” Political sources in Jerusalem said they do not believe a large-scale operation to reoccupy Gaza.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expects to hear new operational plans from the Israel Defense Forces.

The government is also considering options for strengthening forces loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, but remains uncertain as the Palestinians would need to meet the international community’s requirements, which includes the recognition of Israel, rejection of violence, and acceptance of prior agreements.

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