Gaza rockets kill Israeli father, wound minister's bodyguard

Thursday, February 28, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

A massive Palestinian rocket barrage was launched against southern Israel on Wednesday, leaving one Israeli dead and nearly 50 others wounded.

At least 50 rockets struck the southern Israel towns of Sderot and Ashkelon and surrounding communities during the Palestinian assault.

The one fatality, 47-year-old Roni Yechiah, was killed when one of the rockets landed in the parking lot of a local college he was attending. Yechiah leaves behind a wife and four small children.

One other Israeli suffered shrapnel wounds and at least 45 people were treated for shock following the Palestinian barrage. Fifteen of the victims were under such emotional distress that they were transferred to Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital to be treated for severe psychological trauma.

While the victims were being treated at Barzilai, a longer-range Palestinian missile struck the hospital's helipad.

Six more Arab rockets hit the area on Thursday morning, one of them again striking Sderot's Sapir College just as Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter was visiting. Shrapnel from the rocket lightly wounded one of Dichter's bodyguards.

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