Jul 11 2014
Another half a million Israelis came under Hamas rocket attack before dawn Friday, July 11, as Hamas again expanded its rocket radius to the towns between Hadera and Haifa, 150 km north of the Gaza Strip. Metullah, Israel’s northernmost town, was hit by two Katyusha missiles from Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Debka One landed between the Galilee town and Kfar Yuval. The sources of the fire are reported by DEBKAfile’s military sources as two Lebanese villages: Ain Arab, in the Hizballah-ruled Beqaa Valley, and Mari near the southern town of Hatsbaya.
A woman of 70 collapsed and died running to a shelter when she heard the Haifa siren.
The first failed to take off but, because it was launched from a Hizballah stronghold, it is being taken as a possible first omen of Hizballah preparedness to open a second front against Israel to support Hamas – even though their relations have become strained.
Israeli artillery directed return fire from Mt. Dov against the Hizballah village of Kfar Chouba. Lebanese army sources reported that at Mari, another two rockets were found ready for launching against Israel.
The southern Israeli towns of Netivot, Ofakim, Sderot and Shear Hanegev got their first barrage of the day from Hamas. Iron Dome went into action, intercepting two rockets aimed at Sderot, after knocking out 40 of the 170 Hamas fired Thursday.
For the fourth day, Israeli air strikes continued to hammer the Gaza Strip, hitting 200 targets in the last 24 hours. The air force is seriously restricted in its targeting by deliberately avoiding hitting high-rise residential buildings and hospitals, where Hamas and Jihad Islami have stored their longest-range rockets, as well as being unable to reach the underground bunkers where Hamas keeps its main arsenals and key commanders safely hidden. Nonetheless Palestinian deaths in the four days of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge have climbed to 90 and 660 injured. The option of an IDF ground operation to put a stop to Hamas’s rocket blitz is still on the table.