On the morning of September 3 the Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched an exceptional rocket attack on Sderot.

Issued on: 03/09/2007 Type: Article


 

The kindergarten in Sderot close to where the rocket hit. (Photo courtesy of Amir Cohen and Ynet).


The kindergarten's shattered windows (Photo courtesy of Amir Cohen and Ynet).

Overview

1. Between 6:00 in the morning and 1:00 in the afternoon on September 3 nine rockets were fired at Sderot. Seven hits were identified in the city and in adjacent open spaces. The rockets were fired from the area around Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

2. The events were the following:

A. At 6:00 in the morning three rockets were fired at Sderot. There were no casualties or property damage.

B. At 7:50, when thousands of children with their parents were on their way to kindergarten and school, two rockets were fired . They fell in open areas near the city; there were no casualties or property damage.

C. A short time later another rocket was fired, landing close to a kindergarten . Twelve children were evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashqelon and treated for shock.

D. At 9:30 another rocket was fired; falling near Sderot.

E. At 1:00 in the afternoon another rocket hit Sderot.


The fragments of one of the rockets which hit Sderot
(Photo courtesy of the IDF Spokesman, September 3).

3. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, sharing some of it with Fatah . According to the announcement posted on the organization's Website, rockets were fired between 7:50 and 8:30 in the morning in response to Israeli "threats” and "the deliberate attacks on our children and civilians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank ” (Qudsway Website, September 3).


Rockets ready to be launched into Israel
(Qudsway Website, September 3, 2007).

Evaluation

4. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is today the organization launching most of the rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip it has not directly participated in rocket fire, but has fired mortar shells at the security fence and the crossings, and has enabled the PIJ and small groups to fire rockets, even using its media empire to encourage them.

5. The volleys of nine rockets fired by the PIJ were exceptional . In our assessment, they were launched to harm civilians, including children on their way to kindergarten and school or already participating in the second day of the school year.

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