LIVE BLOG DAY 2: Operation Pillar of Defense [UPDATED 11:55PM IL]

(Thursday, November 15th, 2012)

UPDATE 11:55PM IL: Officials report an improvement in the condition of Rabbi Shmulik Sharf , who was seriously wounded in the fatal rocket attack in Kiryat Malachi in which his wife was killed. It is reported that following emergency surgery for his head injuries he regained consciousness and was informed that his rebitzen did not survive the attack, The notification was made while family members were with him to provide support.

UPDATE 11:51PM IL: A rocket explodes in an open area in the Beersheva district. B’chasdei Hashem no injuries are being reported.

UPDATE 11:43PM IL: Sirens sounding in Chatzerim, Bnei Shimon Council and Beersheva.

UPDATE 10:28PM IL: 3 killed today, 2 injured seriously, 3 moderately, 50 light and 94 people treated for hysteria/panic as a result of rocket fire.

UPDATE 10:24PM IL: Rockets fired into Shar HaNegev region. No immediate report of injuries.

UPDATE 10:14PM IL: For residents of Central Israel, the “quiet station” will operate from 12am till 6am at 102FM. From the beginning of Shabbat on 531AM.

UPDATE 9:48PM IL: Over the past hour, the IDF has hit 80 targets in Gaza from the air and sea including the home of the al-Aqsa Brigade commander.

UPDATE 9:34PM IL: Gaza reports al-Aqsa Brigade commander escapes IAF targeted strike.

UPDATE 9:32PM IL: Sirens in Eshkol Regional Council and S’dot Negev Regional Council.

UPDATE 9:30PM IL: Hundreds taking part in anti-Israel rally outside Israeli diplomatic facility in London, against “the injustice against Gaza”.

UPDATE 9:29PM IL: Colleges in Rishon L’Tzion and Rechovot announce they will remain closed tomorrow, erev Shabbos.

UPDATE 9:24PM IL: Channel 2: It is being reported that one of the targets in tonight’s heavy IAF bombardment of Gaza was the home of Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh.

Police announce restrictions in place for Islamic prayer on Har HaBayis erev Shabbos. Only males 45 or older with an Israeli ID and women 40 or over will be permitted on Har HaBayis. This prevents PA (Palestinian Authority) residents from taking part in prayer services as police are working to prevent a terror attack in Israel.

UPDATE 8:42PM IL: Defense Minister Ehud Barak announces that he has approved activating 30,000 IDF reservists as sirens continue to sound throughout southern Israel.

Reports from Gaza state the IAF is attacking with unprecedented intensity.

UPDATE 8:00PM IL: After close to 3 hours of quiet in Ashdod, Iron Dome went into action again and Baruch Hashem intercepted two rockets heading for that city. Multiple rockets towards Beersheva. No injuries reported. Some intercepted as well.

UPDATE 7:58PM IL: Repeated sirens in Beersheva, Be’er Tuvia, Ashdod, and Gan Yavne. Iron Dome has intercepted some rockets.

UPDATE 7:49PM IL: Sirens in the Merchavim Regional Council.

UPDATE 7:47PM IL: Sirens in Ofakim. Iron Dome intercepted rockets to Beersheva.

UPDATE 7:46PM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva.\

UPDATE 7:35PM IL: Sirens in Kissufim, Netiv Ha’asara, and other areas.

UPDATE 7:16PM IL: Experts point out it is easier for terrorists to move Fajar rockets into position under cover of  dark as opposed to daytime since the cylinder of the rocket is 6 meters (19.6 feet) long.

UPDATE 7:00PM IL: Three rounds of sirens in Beersheva and most of the Negev. Heavy wave of rocket fire in Beersheva and the surrounding area. It is too soon to know if there are injuries. A number of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome.

UPDATE 6:57PM IL: Sirens in Beersheva, Ofakim, Sderot and other areas.

UPDATE 6:52PM IL: The Islamic Jihad has released a message that it fired a Fajar rocket a short time ago.

Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich confirms a rocket has landed in “The Greater Tel Aviv area”, stating near the water. He added that it appears there are no injuries.

The minister instructs residents to head for shelters in the event sirens sound again. The panic caused by sirens sounding in the Gush Dan area has apparently prompted tens of thousands of people to reach for the phone, resulting in the collapse in phone service in many areas.

A heavy wave of rockets was just launched against many southern Israeli areas as well. no immediate reports of injuries.

UPDATE 6:49PM IL: There is another siren sounding in the Gush Dan area. Channel 2 reports a rocket did fall somewhere, but it appears no one seems to know where, indicating there may not be injuries.

IDF instructs Gush Dan residents to enter safe rooms and shelters until they can determine what the situation is.

UPDATE 6:39PM IL: Sirens are sounding in the GUSH DAN area, including southern Tel Aviv, areas of Bnei Brak, Cholon and more. Details to follow.

UPDATE 6:31PM IL: Rockets fired at Shar HaNegev area communities.

UPDATE 6:29PM IL: Ministry of Environmental Affairs inspectors today checked 22 factories in the southern rocket fire area to determine what action is required to minimize or eliminate the danger from hazardous materials in facilities in light of rocket attacks.

UPDATE 6:24PM IL: 386 rockets have been fired at Israel since beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense. 250 fell in communities and open areas in Israel and 100 intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

UPDATE 6:16PM IL: Ra’anana announces a phone number for people from the south seeking lodging in the hope of assisting them. 09-762-2100.

UPDATE 6:06PM IL: Egyptian President Morsi has decided to send a high-level delegation to Gaza on Friday, 2 Kislev, including his prime minister.

As Channel 2 Arab Affairs expert Ehud Ya’ari explains, if this report is indeed factual, it dramatically changes events since it is unlikely the IDF will send ground forces into Gaza if a high-level Egyptian delegation is visiting.

UPDATE 5:56PM IL: MK (Likud) Danny Danon has accumulated over 5,000 signatures from Israelis demanding the government cut the electricity to Gaza immediately.

UPDATE 5:52PM IL: Updated levaya information for Kiryat Malachi victims:

The levaya for Mrs. Mira Sharf HY”D will begin at 8pm in Shamgar Funeral Home in Yerushalayim.

The levaya of Rav Smadja HY”D will begin 8pm from Nachlas Har Chabad in Kiryat Malachi to Har Menuchos for Kvura. Rav Smadja is survived by three children, the youngest being 2-years-old. It is reported he and his wife waited 14 years until they were blessed with children.

UPDATE 5:34PM IL: 11 rockets have exploded in the Shar HaNegev and Eshkol Council regions. No injuries reported.

UPDATE 5:32PM IL: It is now permitted to release the names of the Lubavitch Chassidim killed in the Kiryat Malachi rocket attack HY”D earlier today.

Yitzchak Amsellem HY”D, 24, from the Kraiyot region, Rav Aaron Smadja (49) HY”D, Mira Sharf (27) HY”D, the wife of a shaliach in New Delhi, India who was visiting family in Eretz Yisrael.

UPDATE 5:26PM IL: IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Mordechai confirms standing army (not reservists) ground force infantry soldiers are heading south and they will be in ‘ready mode’ should the decision be made to order a ground forces incursion.

UPDATE 5:08PM IL: The IDF is now confirming that a rocket was launched at Rishon L’Tzion from Gaza, landing outside the city but the explosion was heard by residents.

The military censor was prohibited publishing a confirmed message for security reasons, but that was lifted and the attack signals Hamas is working to bring the warfare to the center of the country.

UPDATE 5:06PM IL: Three soldiers were injured earlier this afternoon from a rocket attack in the Eshkol Regional Council area. They are reported in light-to-moderate condition.

UPDATE 4:51PM IL: IT is now reported that if a rocket landed in Rishon L’Tzion, there were no sirens sounding. There are reports of an explosion in Be’er Yaakov. Homefront Command officials are working to confirm mounting reports of the expanded rocket attacks, in the 60km (36 miles) range, signaling Hamas is taking the war to Central Israel.

UPDATE 4:47PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod and other areas. IDF officials responding to Rishon L’Tzion and Cholon to verify reports of rocket attacks in those cities. There are no reports of injuries.

UPDATE 4:45PM IL: IDF Homefront Command officials are checking into mounting reports of explosions in Rishon L’Tzion and Cholon. If this in fact is proven to be the case, that signals terrorists are using a longer-range rocket, capable of reaching 60km (36 miles).

UPDATE 4:39PM IL: Homefront Command officials working to confirm reports of sirens and explosions in both Rishon L’Tzion and Cholon. There are many reports but no official confirmation from the IDF.

UPDATE 4:31PM IL: Sirens in Sderot, Eshkol Region and Shar HaNegev areas.

UPDATE 3:20PM IL: Iron Dome intercepts four rockets in the Sderot area.

UPDATE 3:10PM IL: Rockets heading to Eshkol Regional Council Region

UPDATE 2:17PM IL: Sirens in Eshkol Region, Kiryat Gat and other areas.

UPDATE 2:15PM IL: Chabad Online requests the tzibur recite Tehillim for victims of the Kiryat Malachi rocket attack:

שמואל בן חיה שרה,    חנה בת מירה רות,   גאולה בת מירה רות

UPDATE 2:10PM IL: Last round of fire, rockets landed in Eshkol Region, Ashkelon, S’dot HaNegev and Shar HaNegev Council. The injured appear to be in light-to-moderate condition.

UPDATE 2:08PM IL: As a result of the last wave of rockets to the Eshkol Regional Council, three persons have been injured by shrapnel. EMS responders making their way to the scene.

UPDATE 1:42PM IL: Sirens sounding in Kerem Shalom.

UPDATE 1:37PM IL: Hamas politburo leader Khaled Meshal is reportedly in a bunker in a hospital, realizing he too is among those marked as a “dead man” by the IDF. Meshal is viewed as the most senior authority in the terror organization.

UPDATE 1:34PM IL: Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Beersheva alongside IDF Southern District Commander Major-General Tal Russo. Barak stated the operation will not be halted until such time the objectives are reached. He added it may not be a short operation, further stating the IDF is authorized to use all force required towards achieving the objectives as set by the cabinet.

UPDATE 1:32PM IL: Sirens in Eshkol Regional Council/Direct hit to a building in Ofakim. More to follow

UPDATE 1:31PM IL: Property damage reported from rocket attack into Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. B’chasdei Hashem there are no injuries being reported or loss of life.

UPDATE 1:23PM IL: Chief Rabbi Yonah Yechiel Metzger announces weddings should not be cancelled due to the warfare, adding it may be necessary to conduct the simcha with a minimum number of people in attendance.

UPDATE 1:09PM IL: Walla News reports Hamas is not permitting foreigners to leave Gaza, including 43 diplomats that tried leaving via the Eretz Crossing but were compelled to turn back by Hamas.

UPDATE 1:06PM IL: IAF targeting Islamic Jihad in Central Gaza. No immediate reports of injuries or fatalities/ rockets heading to Eshkol Region once again.

UPDATE 1:04PM IL: Sirens in Kibbutz Nirim and Ein HaShlosha.

UPDATE 1:03PM IL: Channel 10 News reports tanks heading south in a convoy./ Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council district.

UPDATE 1:02PM IL: The IDF has called up hundreds of reservists including troops from elite combat units, engineering, medical, & logistics corps along with soldiers who served in the Gaza Division in the past, as well as hesder yeshiva soldiers.

UPDATE 12:57PM IL: Direct hit to a vehicle in the area of Gilat Junction. The vehicle is up in flames. B’chasdei Hashem no injuries being reported.

UPDATE 12:55PM IL: The IAF has hit over 200 targets in Gaza since launching Operation Defense Pillar.

UPDATE 12:51PM IL: Sirens in the Eshkol Regional Council and Segev Shalom

UPDATE 12:50PM IL: Iron Dome intercepts rockets over Beersheva

UPDATE 12:48PM IL: Gaza sources reporting two more fatalities as a result of ongoing IAF targeted strikes in Gaza.

UPDATE 12:44PM IL: Sirens in Beersheva, Ramat Chovav, S’dot Negev, Ofakim and Netivot.

UPDATE 12:36PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Shimon Council area and Netivot.

UPDATE 12:35PM IL: Channel 2 reports IAF striking over northern Gaza including the Beit Lahiya area. Hamas in Gaza reporting injuries./ Sirens sounding in the Nachal Ohz area and Lahat.

UPDATE 12:33PM IL: Sirens sounding in Netivot, Ashkelon, Ashkelon Coast Council, Ofakim, Beersheva and other areas.

UPDATE 12:31PM IL: Iron Dome intercepts rockets heading for Ashkelon Coast Regional Council/ Sirens in the Yad Mordechai area/ sirens Ashkelon Coast Council.

UPDATE 12:18PM IL: Rocket launch towards Netiv Ha’asara.

UPDATE 12:17PM IL: Sderot: Home was hit. Damage reported. B’chasdei Hashem no injuries.

UPDATE 12:08PM IL: Direct hit reported in last attack in Sderot moments ago. No additional information is available at this time.

UPDATE 12:00PM IL: 7-year-old rocket victim from Kiryat Malachi moved from Kaplan Hospital in Rechovot to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv. The child is reported to be in serious condition with thoracic injuries. No additional information is available.

UPDATE 11:57AM IL: Rockets land in Eshkol Regional Council area. No injuries.

UPDATE 11:53AM IL: Iron Dome intercepts rockets heading for Ashkelon/ The state will reimburse residents of communities within 7km of Gaza border for loss of income during these days during which they are under orders to remain at home.

UPDATE 11:51AM IL: Additional firefighters being sent to southern areas to give support to the units already operating in the rocket strike communities.

UPDATE 11:47AM IL: Homefront Defense Minister Avi Dichter: No deadline set for operation. The “end” will be marked by Israel determining the deterrence has been restored and not before. The IDF has a free hand to use any force required to achieve the goal. There is no reason for the IDF to place soldiers in danger if the objective can be reached by other means, hinting to continued air strikes instead of sending in ground forces.

UPDATE 11:46AM IL: Tax and other municipal payments may be delayed for southern residents towards assisting them during this period. In addition, the government has asked banks to refrain from taking any collection actions against residents in rocket strike areas during the warfare.

UPDATE 11:43AM IL: French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé defends Israel’s right to defend herself but calls on Israel and the PA (Palestinian Authority) to exercise restraint.

UPDATE 11:41AM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Regional Council district.

UPDATE 11:40AM IL: Marwan Issa, Hamas’ deputy chief of staff, appointed to replace Ahmad Jabari.

UPDATE 11:39AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon.

UPDATE 11:36AM IL: Rockets launched towards Ashkelon Coast Regional Council.

UPDATE 11:35AM IL: Light weapons gunfire into Golan Heights from Syria. An IDF soldier was very lightly injured.

UPDATE 11:33AM IL: IDF Homefront Command information number is 1207

UPDATE 11:18AM IL: Ashdod Magistrate’s Court closes due to security situation.

UPDATE 11:15AM IL: Some hesder yeshiva students being called to active duty in light of the major military operation.

UPDATE 11:09AM IL: Dr. Yaron Klein of Kaplan Hospital: A total of 13 patients, not 12. Two in serious condition. One in surgery and the second moved to Tel Hashomer Hospital. Six others in light condition with shrapnel injuries and the remainder being treated for hysteria.

UPDATE 11:03AM IL: IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz says military operating to prevent attacks against naval vessels operating in the Gaza area.

UPDATE 10:58AM IL: Sirens in Eshkol Council and S’dot HaNegev Council.

UPDATE 10:55AM IL: Kaplan Hospital in Rechovot reports two rocket victims in serious condition, one being transferred to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv. There are a total of 12 patients at that hospital at present.

Sirens sounding in Ashkelon as well as industrial area.

UPDATE 10:51AM IL: GAZA – ambulances heading to the Khan Yunis area after reported IAF strike at or near a local municipality building.

UPDATE 10:47AM IL: sirens sounding in Ashkelon and Ashkelon Coast Council.

UPDATE 10:45AM IL: 2 rockets intercepted over Ashdod. A third lands near Kiryat Malachi.

UPDATE 10:43AM IL: Officials report Iron Dome has intercepted close to 80 rockets today.

UPDATE 10:39AM IL: Two rockets land in Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries reported.

UPDATE 10:36AM IL: Sirens in Sderot

UPDATE 10:34AM IL: Sirens in Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, Yavne and Be’er Tuvia.

UPDATE 10:28AM IL: Police Chief Yochanan Danino is in Kiryat Malachi at the site of the fatal rocket attack. He toldChannel 2 News he believes the rocket fire into Israel will increase before the situation improves.

The police chief urges all Israelis to please remain in shelters if you are in rocket attack areas and to distance yourself from impact areas to permit security and rescue responders access.

Danino reminds the public that remaining outdoors to satisfy one’s curiosity places many people at risk.

UPDATE 10:26AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon for a second time.

UPDATE 10:24AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon

UPDATE 10:20AM IL: It appears rocket attacks have tapered down as Gaza prepares for the funeral of Ahmed Jabari, the Hamas chief of staff eliminated in an IAF strike. Thousands of Gazans gathering for the funeral.

UPDATE 10:19AM IL: Rocket launch towards Shar HaNegev Regional Council.

UPDATE 10:15AM IL: A number of rockets land in the Eshkol Council. No immediate reports of injuries.

UPDATE 10:08AM IL: Zaka volunteers continue to operate on the scene of the fatal Kiryat Malachi rocket strike.

UPDATE 10:05AM IL: Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich is in Kiryat Malachi. He told Channel 2 News “we have taken out most or all of the Fajar rockets but yes, Gush Dan can still be hit. We are working to bring the rocket fire under control but it will take a few days. They have tens of thousands of rockets”.

UPDATE 10:03AM IL: Rocket launch towards Shar HaNegev Regional Council.

UPDATE 10:00AM IL: Rocket slams into a factory in the Eshkol Regional Council. B’chasdei Hashem no injuries are being reported.

UPDATE 09:59AM IL: IAF has struck over 100 targets in Gaza, including many Fajar rocket storage and launching locations.

The Fajar rockets are the longer range, capable of reaching Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and other areas.

UPDATE 09:58AM IL: Israel Air Force carrying out sorties over Gaza at this time.

UPDATE 09:53AM IL: A rocket struck a building in Kiryat Gat. Baruch Hashem there are no injuries being reported.

UPDATE 09:49AM IL: Homefront Security Minister Avi Dichter declares a state of emergency in all areas within 40km (24 miles) from Gaza border. This places all municipalities under IDF Homefront Command, shifting all hospitals and other essential services to wartime mode as well as permitting the national government to increase assistance to area residents. The order also compels essential services to continue as per directives from the IDF.

While the hospitals and other services have been operating like this since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, now the status is official.

UPDATE 09:41AM IL: Growing number of hysteria victims in Ashdod. Magen David Adom doing its utmost to address the growing number of victims seeking assistance following relentless rocket attacks.

UPDATE 09:39AM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Council.

UPDATE 09:38AM IL: The Kiryat Malachi family hit in the rocket attack is a veteran family of the Chabad community in that city. It appears that they were unable to make it to a shelter in time after the siren sounded.

UPDATE 09:36AM IL: One may dial 1201 for the Aran emergency trauma hotline

UPDATE 09:32AM IL: Officials believe that terrorists continue to change firing angle and direction to send rockets deeper into Israel but Baruch Hashem, the Iron Dome seems to be intercepting these rockets, cutting them short to their intended targets.

UPDATE 09:26AM IL: Reports of explosions in Rechovot. No sirens were heard. Report being checked for accuracy./ Hamas reports air force attacking over Gaza/

UPDATE 09:22AM IL: 7 rockets fired at Ashdod/ Another siren sounding again/ Sirens in Yavne, Zikim, Ashkelon Coast Council, Ashkelon Industrial center and Carmiya.

UPDATE 09:19AM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Council and Ashdod

UPDATE 09:17AM IL: Sirens in Kiryat Gat, Beersheva, Ashdod, and other areas in past 10 minutes.

UPDATE 09:04AM IL: Sirens in Beersheva/ Reports of injuries in Kiryat Gat. No confirmation.

UPDATE 09:03AM IL: IDF orders residents of Kiryat Malachi to enter shelters.

UPDATE 09:01AM IL: MDA reports two injured from Kiryat Malachi in moderate condition./ Sirens sounding in Nitzanim./ Fourth siren in Ashdod.

UPDATE 09:00AM IL: 3rd consecutive siren in Ashdod. Iron Dome intercepting incoming rockets Baruch Hashem.

UPDATE 08:59AM IL: Sirens in Kiryat Malachi, Gan Yavne and other areas.

UPDATE 08:58AM IL: Sirens in Ashdod and Ashkelon.

UPDATE 08:56AM IL: Rockets fall in Gan Yavne/ Rescue workers still operating in Kiryat Malachi/ Sirens in Kiryat Gat/ Sirens in Ashdod and Netivot.

UPDATE 08:53AM IL: Iron Dome intercepts five rockets.

Three explosions heard in Ashdod. Some areas did not hear a siren.

UPDATE 08:53AM IL: Sirens in Eshkol council and Gan Yavne.

UPDATE 08:51AM IL: Sirens sounding in Kiryat Malachi and Ashkelon industrial area.

UPDATE 08:50AM IL: Infant sustained moderate injuries in Kiryat Malachi rocket attack, Ichud Hatzalah confirms.

UPDATE 08:46AM IL: Ichud Hatzalah reports at least three dead in Kiryat Malachi rocket attack

UPDATE 08:45AM IL: Baruch Dayan Emmes: A female was killed in a rocket attack in Kiryat Malachi. Others are trapped in the apartment building that was hit by a rocket. Damage appears to be extensive.

UPDATE 08:43AM IL: Sirens in Beersheva .

UPDATE 08:41AM IL: Israel Radio reports people are trapped in Kiryat Malachi building hit by a rocket. Rescue teams heading to the scene

UPDATE 08:37AM IL: Ichud Hatzalah confirms female injured critically in rocket attack in Kiryat Malachi. Rocket struck a fourth floor apartment. CPR in progress.

UPDATE 08:35AM IL: Reports from Kiryat Malachi. One person in critical condition as a result of a direct hit to an apartment building. Others injured less seriously.

UPDATE 08:34AM IL: IDF tanks and naval ships firing at terrorists in Gaza, seeking to take out rocket launching sites.

MDA spokesman Zaki Heller reports treating four victims of shrapnel as well as an unspecified number of people treated for hysteria and panic.

The IDF is making phone calls to Gazans warning them of the imminent attacks, advising them to distance from terrorists.

UPDATE 08:32AM IL: Iron Dome downs three rockets heading to Ashdod. Sirens sounding again in Ashdod.

UPDATE 08:31AM IL: One million southern residents in rocket range.

In Kiryat Malachi, two injured, one listed as moderate and two light condition, apparently from shrapnel.

Sirens sounding in Ashdod and Yavne at this time.

UPDATE 08:27AM IL: A home was hit in Ashdod. B’chasdei Hashem, there are no injuries being reported. Sirens sounding in many areas. Iron Dome intercepting many rockets heading for major southern cities.

UPDATE 08:20AM IL: Psychological support hotline: 1-800-363-363.

There are reports of injuries in Ashdod and Kiryat Malachi. Emergency services are responding to the scenes.

UPDATE 08:18AM IL: Rockets fired towards Nitzanim, Gan Yavne, Chatzor, and Ashdod.

UPDATE 08:17AM IL: Sirens in Shar HaNegev Council, Ashdod and Gadera.

UPDATE 08:16AM IL: At least 10 rockets fired in last round. Ashkelon Coast sirens sounding again.

UPDATE 08:14AM IL: Another round of sirens in Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi. Loud explosion heard in Ashdod. Emergency personnel seeking to track impact area. Sirens sounding in Ashkelon and Zikim.

UPDATE 08:12AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod, Be’er Tuvia, Gan Yavne, Chatzor and Kiryat Malachi.

UPDATE 08:09AM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Council and Beersheva.

The Homefront has closed all schools within 40km range of Gaza. Persons living in the 7km range of the Gaza border may not leave their homes, including going to work. Gatherings of over 100 people are prohibited.

After hearing a rocket impact, residents are instructed to remain in a shelter for at least 10 minutes. It is prohibited to gather in rocket impact areas.

UPDATE 08:06AM IL: Sirens sounded in Beersheva about 2 minutes ago. Sirens in Eshkol Regional Council.

Road closings by the IDF include: Route 34 towards Yad Mordechai-Erez, Route 232 towards Gavim- Saad, Route 25 towards Netivot-Saad, 232 towards its northern border, 241 in the areas of Orot, Maon Re’em.

UPDATE 08:04AM IL: THE IDF southern district commander has closed a number of roads in the areas under attack. Sirens sounded in the Eshkol Regional Council about two minutes ago. A rocket landed near Kiryat Malachi. Sirens sounding near Nir Am. No injuries reported at this time.

UPDATE 08:02AM IL: Israel Police is operating at high alert fearing Hamas and other terror organizations are determined to perpetrate a terror attack in Israel. Police are concerned with the time of the funeral of Hamas’ chief of staff in particular, who was eliminated in an IAF surgical strike on Wednesday, 29 Cheshvan 5773. The funeral is set in Gaza for about 11:30am.

UPDATE 08:00AM IL: IAF dropping leaflets over Gaza warning civilians to distance themselves from Hamas rocket launching areas

UPDATE 07:59AM IL: Iron Dome intercepts two rockets over Ashdod and one over Ashkelon.

UPDATE 07:57AM IL: Sirens sounding in Kibbutz Re’em and Nirim.

UPDATE 07:56AM IL: Sirens sounding again in Beersheva as well as Ashkelon, Lachish areas, Zikim, Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon Regional Council, and Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE 07:54AM IL: At least four katyusha rockets fired at Beersheva. Two intercepted by Iron Dome. No immediate report of injuries.

UPDATE 07:43AM IL: PA (Palestinian Authority) UN ambassador accuses Israel of war crimes. Gaza sources reporting 15 dead and over 100 wounded from air force attacks.

UPDATE 07:31AM IL: The IAF earlier this morning targeted terrorists in the Khan Yunis area of Gaza, killing at least three. In addition, the air force launched tens of sorties during the night, targeting munitions storage and manufacturing facilities.

UPDATE 07:27AM IL: Sirens during the night sounded in areas including Beersheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Eshkol Regional Council, Ra’at, Gan Yavne, Ofakim, Gadera, Netivot, Kerem Shalom area, Bnei Shimon Council and others. B’chasdei Hashem there are no injuries being reported from the attacks during the night.

UPDATE 07:07AM IL: Israel Police on high alert nationwide to prevent terror attacks inside Israel.

UPDATE 06:27AM IL: 12 katyusha rockets were fired at Beersheva. Six were intercepted by the Iron Dome and six landed in empty fields.

UPDATE 03:21AM IL: Rockets fired at the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council.

UPDATE 02:59AM IL: Rockets fired towards Beersheva. Two rockets land in an open area. A third rocket intercepted by the Iron Dome.

UPDATE 02:38AM IL: Two rockets land in an open area in the Beersheva area.

UPDATE 01:10AM IL: Three rockets fired towards Beersheva. Some intercepted by the Iron Dome.

CLICK HERE FOR THE YWN LIVE BLOG FROM DAY 1 OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


35 Comments

  1. Gadolhadorah says:

    With the country at the precipice of another war and reserves being recalled to active duty, the government went to court seeking yet another delay to begin drafting chareidim into the IDF. Perhaps now is the time to stop pandering to the chareidi politicians and leaders and require EVERYONE to enlist; no exceptions, period. Otherwise, its sheer hypocricy to claim the medinah is at risk but the burden of national defense is for chillonim only.

  2. jackezra says:

    Maybe u leave that alone fo now and say that now is a time to pray to hashem and increase the study if torah so nothing serious to befall the Jews in eretz yisrael and around the world!!!!!

  3. aloudandproud says:

    Please don’t think small at a time of war. DO NOT MINIMIZE THE POWER OF TORAH!!! Do you know that king David, the great and powerful went to war many times, his strategy of defense was always 1/3 on the battlefield while 2/3 SAT AND LEARNT & DAVENED. Going after chareidim now is completely ignoring the emotions of the people of Israel, how about exercise “imo anochi b’tzara” rather than try to devide the people. Guess what, HKB”H is running the world (remember?) and he knows who should be on the battlefield protecting the country, and who should be bringing the shechina to protect them.

    Message to all: Tehilim is our secrete weapon, don’t get cought up on politics,and the blaming game, the least anyone can do is say a capital Tehilim .”Have you said one today?” Spread this message.

  4. Rainus says:

    @1:

    They’re not pandering to anyone when they seek a delay from the court. They simply have no money or a plan to induct tens of thousands of new soldiers into the army. Those who called for all hareidim to be drafted and the “sharing the burden” slogan have no idea of the realities on the ground as the IDF has no idea how to induct so many so quickly or what to with them once they’re inducted.

  5. YITZCHOKY says:

    Cut all fuel deliveries and all electric this minute

  6. RBS.Jew says:

    Yes, #2 – I agree – now is the time to increase teffilot & learning…

    Many people on this site commented that the chareidim in Israel are ‘doing their part’ by learning while the soldiers are fighting. I do agree that we need an army of people learning. However, I suggested at the time that everyone would take the chareidi efforts more seriously if they showed an effort to be brothers with their soldier counterparts. Instead, the chareidi movement makes great effort in distancing themselves.

    At this crucial and dangerous time – with many of our soldiers going to war TO PROTECT ALL OF US, CHARIEDIM INCLUDED – it’s time to step up to the plate. I have yet to hear of chareidi rabbonim holding emergency tehillim sessions or learning sessions for the protection of our citizens in the South or our soldiers fighting to protect us all. In fact, the only thing I’ve heard was some rabbonim ‘paskening’ that the chareidi yeshiva boys and avreichim should leave the yeshivas & kollels in the South toward realative safety!

    Where are the outcries about “emptying the yeshivas and kollels!?!?!” I understand the possibility that the yeshiva boys and avreichim can learn somewhere outside of the immediate war zone. However, I don’t understand why they don’t feel it necessary to stand up and support our soldiers who are obviously flying INTO that very war zone to protect ALL OF US, INCLUDING THOSE VERY YESHIVA BOYS & AVREICHIM! Hold an assifa or kenes or emergency prayer rally in the heart of Meah Shearim… or even in Tel Aviv! Now, THAT would be a Kiddush Hashem!

  7. takingabreak says:

    To the lib “gadolhadora ” may hasten set you straight so we dont ha e to hear your idiocy anymore

  8. doneel says:

    In the month of Kislev, we say – Vzaidim Biyad Oskai Torahsecha! We need the bnei Torah to increase the learning in order to protect the soldiers who are fighting for us against the wicked goyim.

  9. zionflag says:

    Very serious situation in Eretz Yisrael, deaths from a direct hit on a home in Kiryat Malachi.
    Tefillos and zechsim are needed at every venue,, stop and say tehillim.

  10. taz says:

    Can we split up sefer tehillim? I’ll do perakim 1-10

  11. Ms. Critique who may always know the answers correctly says:

    Yes, i am ready to do 11-20.
    Hopefully, all yeshivos and girls schools will be doing the same instead of the regular subjects.

  12. grateful2Hashem says:

    I will do Perakim 11 – 20

  13. grateful2Hashem says:

    Oh, I see someone took 11 – 20, so I am going to do Perakim 21 – 30.

  14. Thomas says:

    We are praying for you and your people (back here in America). We want to see the missiles stopped for good coming from Gaza and other places around Israel. We are discussed that Hamas uses schools & hospitals and other public place to fire off their missiles, and then complained when children or civilians are killed or hurt when Israel fires back!

  15. alexfromny says:

    It’s actually Mrs. Mira Sharf
    http://www.indiakoshertravel.com/60710.html

  16. Rebyid40 says:

    Israel must send in ground troops and eliminate the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza for once and for all! Although there may ch”v be casualties, there is no choice anymore. Israel cannot claim to be a sovereign country which accepting constant missle fire from the Gaza cesspool as a natural unavoidable fact. Go in now-vihash-m yaazor!!!

  17. ItsuptoHashm says:

    Can ppl commit to tehillim, extra mitzvos, Torah learning, tehillim etc for zechus of, the injured and the current matzav in Israel.
    Please post below. Lets keep it going.

  18. yiddishemishpacha says:

    Please let’s continue with the Tehilim!! I am going to say as many as I can– (I can’t commit to many because home with my child, but my heart and soul is with my brothers and sisters in E’Y and I will say a perek everytime i get a minute).

  19. Vanilla says:

    I’ll take 31-40.

  20. gefen says:

    To #7 and others who argue:
    PLEASE – this is not the time for bashing one another. Look what’s going on!!! Hashem wants us to be b’achdus. Yes we may have different opinions as to whether the chareidim should be fighting or learning. But please let’s not attack each other. Let’s all daven and say tehilim!!!!!!!!!! Let’s show Hashem we really are b’achdus and have ahavas yisroel.

  21. shazam says:

    “Experts point out it is easier for terrorists to move Fajar rockets into position under cover of dark as opposed to daytime since the cylinder of the rocket is 6 meters (19.6 feet) long.”

    Might be easier for the terrorists to move, but not harder for the IDF to find and kill. Can you say infrared?

    Go IDF. “Ki Hashem Elokecha Hu haholeich imachem lehilachem lachem im oyveichem lehoshi’ah eschem”
    -Devarim 20:4.

  22. Milhouse says:

    With the country at the precipice of another war and reserves being recalled to active duty, perhaps now is the time to stop pandering to the chilonim and haters of Hashem.

  23. Milhouse says:

    And yes, every yeshivah should be scheduling some extra seder, and certainly being extra careful with the existing seder, and explicitly dedicating the learning to the zechus of the soldiers.

  24. 26 estates says:

    Your coverage of this story is absolutely amazing. Can we also get much more updated information please on what Israel is doing to Hamas? It seems 95% or the reporting here is what is happening all over Eretz Yisroel R”L. I would like to also read and get chizuk that we are accomplishing in our effort to rid Hamas. Thank you for being so on top of the story.

  25. Imanonov says:

    Very impressed with your constant updates. May you be zocheh to only inform us of besuros tovos and may H’ protect all our brothers and sisters in EY

  26. awesometwosome says:

    I’ll say 41-50 ! Maybe we should take on kabalos as well. . . . .

  27. momjewishmom says:

    DO NOT POST LOCATIONS OF MISSILES

    דובר צה״ל ביקשו שלא נפרסם בפייסבוק איפה נפלו טילים וגראדים אן איפה הייתה אזעקה, החמאס רואים את כל הפרסומים שלנו בפייסבוק ומבינים לאן כדי לשגר טילים כולם לשתף ולהפיץ את ההודעה!!

    IDF spokesman has requested that no one posts anything on Facebook about where rockets and grads are falling and where sirens are being heard. Hamas intelligence can see all these posts and it can inadvertantly help them with where to aim their rockets!!! Everyone take note and share.

    Editors Note: YWN is in constant contact (multiple times each hour) with personnel in the IDF Spokesperson’s office, and we have not heard anything about this.

  28. doneel says:

    I am listening to Kol Brama as I write.
    They are carrying a live broadcast of selichos from a shul in Israel, sounds like a sfardi version of Yom Kippur Kattan.
    Everyone should urge their shul to say extra tehillim for the safety of our brethern, both the citizens being attacked and the military responding to the attacks

  29. charedirbs says:

    Dear # 6 – RBS Jew. I too am an RBS Jew & would like to let you know that there was a mass tehillim rally in the charedi shuls of RBS tonight. My brother in Lakewood also told me that they there had a tehillim rally…

  30. shazam says:

    #27: Agreed.

    Editor: doesn’t matter what the IDF spokesman tells you, DON’T DO IT! If you give specifics of where rockets land, it allows Hamas to increase their targeting accuracy.

    It was standard IDF practice in the first Gulf War not to release impact point locations, and is the tactically logical thing to do.

  31. RBS.Jew says:

    #29 – charedirbs: i’m unbelievably glad to hear this! Which shuls in RBS had that, by the way? This is the type of achdut we need and one the many things I’ve been davening for besides the obvious asking Hashem to protect us and our soldiers.

  32. interjection says:

    I just said 51-60.

  33. avi732 says:

    GadolHatorah big mouth sitting someplace here in comfy America shooting off your mouth. Why don’t you pick yourself up and enlist the army? I love these know-it-alls directing others to follow their sage advice as they cower behind a keyboard and computer.

  34. RachaelH says:

    #27 and #30, I lived in Ofakim for a year, I know the rules – Hamas knows the general area of where they are firing – they know when they fire toward Ofakim or Beer Sheva or Sderot, for example. The law is not to say EXACTLY where, as in which street and what address and which specific area of the city, as that could help Hamas sharpen their aim and shoot less pointless rockets to open areas. Telling the name of the city is fine, Hamas knows that already.

  35. aloudandproud says:

    RBS.jew,

    You write that you have yet to hear chareidy rabonim holding emergency tehillim sessions or learning sessions… you later find out that in your own community was a mass Tehilim ralley, There has also been a wide spread Yeshiva learning campaign to have 3 consecutive days of 24 hrs. Torah learning split up between groups of bocherim in many Yeshivos instituted by R” Shteinman. I’m sure here were many Rabonim that led tehilim rallies that you have not heard about, as that is the logical thing to do.
    Just because you have not heard about something doesent give you the right to vent your frustrations against anyone let alone Rabonim. Lakol z”man va’eis, who said the way to deal with getting rachamei Shamayim is by making a big big Asifa or big kenes. HKB”H hears us loud and clear even by a sigle persons sincere prayer.
    As for your problem with rabonim “paskening” for the yeshiva guys to leave the danger zones, Hello.. these people are not solders if rabonim paskend for them to leave, then it is assur for them to stay. Have you heard of “V’nishmartem MEOD l’ nafshosechem.
    They are in charge of a diferent part of the war. Are you also upset at the rest of the Israeli citizens for not running to the south to support the solders???
    This is not a personal attack, just really bothers me when people choose to believe what they want to without checking facts.
    Solution: think very long and hard before you talk negative about anyone. Please!!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe to RSS Feed For This Article