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LIVE BLOG DAY 6: Operation Pillar Of Defense [UPDATED 11:59PM IL]

UPDATE 11:59PM IL: The IDF says more than 120 rockets have been fired from Gaza today and 19 have been intercepted. The vast majority of these landed in empty fields and were therefore not targeted by the iron dome.

The most notable rocket attacks of the day damaged two schools in Ashkelon.

In the first instance this morning a rocket landed in the parking lot of a school and damaged buildings. In the afternoon a rocket was intercepted in the air and debris from the explosion fell onto the roof of a separate school in Ashkelon.

UPDATE 10:40PM IL: 4 rockets fired at Be’er Sheva have just landed in open areas. No injuries and/or damage reported.

UPDATE 10:34PM IL: Middle East Quartet envoy and former British PM Tony Blair said in an interview on Channel 2 that he spoke with PM Netanyahu, who expressed hope that he would not to have to get into a situation where he has to decide on a ground operation.

Netanyahu said “we need international pressure to make Hamas understand that rockets aimed at civilians is unacceptable, and if they continue the rocket attacks they should expect a harsh response by Israel”.

UPDATE 10:20PM IL: IAF conducting strikes over northern Gaza Strip. Several missiles reportedly fired at one home, completely destroying it. Awaiting confirmation from IDF.

UPDATE 10:06PM IL: Reports of 5 rockets in Be’er Sheva and nearby Merchavim. No reported injuries and/or damage – Bichasdei Hashem all have landed in open areas.

UPDATE 10:05PM IL: Sirens now sounding in Be’er Sheva.

UPDATE 9:56PM IL: Spokesman for the Islamic Jihad movement, Daud Shihab, was interviewed by Arab media and said: “The Palestinian resistance is in good condition and has a large number of missiles. Tel Aviv remains under threat.”

Shihab added, “Iran has supported the Palestinian resistance from A to Z”.

UPDATE 9:51PM IL: Al Arabiya reports that the Israeli delegation in Egypt discussing a ceasefire has returned. This has not been confirmed by any Israeli sources.

UPDATE 9:49PM IL: Sirens sounding in Eshkol Regional Coucncil. Now reports of two rockets – one striking a home and a second in an open area. There are no injuries reported.

UPDATE 9:32PM IL: Rocket fired from Gaza was intercepted by the Iron Dome over Ashkelon. Pieces of the rocket then crashed on a school. No injuries reported.

UPDATE 9:00PM IL: Magen David Adom reports that they have treated 16 patients on Monday. None were injured seriously, and most were treated for shock and anxiety.

Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of defense, MDA has treated more than 252 patients, including the 3 people who were R”L killed as a result of a rocket attack on their home in Kiryat Malachi.

UPDATE: 8:26PM IL: The IAF has just carried out an airstrike on a car reportedly carrying a senior commander in Hamas’ rocket squad. The vehicle reportedly had a “TV” sticker on it. Still waiting further IDF confirmation.

UPDATE 8:09PM IL: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to visit Jerusalem and city of Ramallah this week for talks with Netanyahu and PA President Abbas on the crisis in Gaza.

Ban arrived in Cairo on Monday to support Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi’s efforts to mediate a truce.

UPDATE: 7:55PM IL: 121 rockets were fired at Israel today, two landing in urban areas and 19 intercepted by the Iron Dome.

Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, 1,113 rockets were fired at Israel. 324 were intercepted by the Iron Dome and 37 landed in urban areas.

UPDATE: 7:34PM IL: Reuters reports that two rockets mounted on launchers and pointed at Israel were dismantled by Lebanese army forces in the village of Halta, about 1km (6/10 miles) from an IDF military position on Mount Hermon in the northern Golan Heights.

UPDATE: 7:29PM IL: United Nations Secretary-General Bank ki-Moon has landed in Cairo and he is expected to be in Ramallah and Yerushalayim on Tuesday as he seeks to broker a ceasefire.

UPDATE: 7:28PM IL: It appears the women injured near Kerem Shalom sustained a light injury from glass shards in a mortar shell attack to an area chicken coop. The victim was transported to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva.

UPDATE: 7:25PM IL: Al-Arabia reports a ceasefire may take affect within the next 24 hours. There is no Israeli confirmation regarding this statement.

UPDATE: 7:22PM IL: Hamas propaganda includes – rockets have hit Ramat Gan, 85km from Gaza/ Ben-Gurion International Airport is closed.

Baruch Hashem, both these statements are false.

UPDATE: 7:19PM IL: A woman was injured by shrapnel in the Eshkol Region by a mortar shell. There is conflicting information regarding the extent of her injuries. It appears the victim is a foreign worker.

UPDATE: 6:44PM IL: Israel Manufacturer’s Association reports damage to the industry from Operation Pillar of Defense now stands at 120 million NIS.

UPDATE: 6:31PM IL: Three rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome and one landed in an open area in the city.

UPDATE: 6:28PM IL: Numerous explosions heard. Channel 2 News reports Iron Dome intercept.

UPDATE: 6:26PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon.

UPDATE: 6:00PM IL: Iron Dome intercepts rockets south of Ashkelon.

UPDATE: 5:53PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon as well as the Ashkelon Coast council and Yad Mordechai

UPDATE: 5:29PM IL: HEBRON: Soldiers shot and wound Arab male as he tries throwing a firebomb at them in Hebron. The victim was taken to PA (Palestinian Authority) hospital. Soldiers uninjured Baruch Hashem.

UPDATE: 5:18PM IL: Sirens sounding in Yad Mordechai and Netiv Ha’asara, both in the Ashkelon Coast region.

UPDATE: 5:16PM IL: Light weapons fire directed at IDF soldiers in the Tel Chazaka area of the Golan Heights from Syria once gain. No injuries are being reported.

UPDATE: 5:13PM IL: Haaretz: Some of the over 30,000 soldiers awaiting the ground forces operation in S Israel are complaining of shortages of food, coffee and beds.

UPDATE: 5:08PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council region.

UPDATE: 5:07PM IL: Iron Dome intercepts two rockets headed for Beersheva.

UPDATE: 5:03PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Merchavim Regional Council.

UPDATE: 5:02PM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva.

UPDATE: 5:00PM IL: The Sderot man hit by a vehicle running during a siren is listed with light injuries, nothing more serious Baruch Hashem.

UPDATE: 4:58PM IL: One person was injured in Sderot a short time ago running for cover during siren, struck by a vehicle. Condition unknown at this time.

UPDATE: 4:56PM IL: IDF Spokesman: Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IAF has hit 1,350 terrorist targets in Gaza and the Iron Dome has intercepted 300 rockets.

UPDATE: 4:47PM IL: A major demand by Hamas for a ceasefire with Israel is Israel’s opening of all crossings into Gaza and lifting of the marine embargo.

UPDATE: 4:45PM IL: Rockets fired towards Netivot. At least one was intercepted by the Iron Dome. There are no immediate reports of injuries.

UPDATE: 4:43PM IL: Sirens sounded in the S’dot HaNegev and Shar HaNegev counts a short time ago. No injuries being reported.

UPDATE: 4:39PM IL: Update from Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva:

Over 50 preemie patients and women following labor moved to other facilities. The same for some geriatric patients. All patients in the hospital are in fortified areas.

Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, 160 patients were treated. There are 11 still admitted, two listed in serious condition. One of the two was hit by a passing car after stopping his car and getting out after hearing a siren. The second patient was injured on erev shabbos in the Eshkol region in a rocket attack.

UPDATE: 4:36PM IL: Additional sets of speakers were installed in Bat Yam today as it was apparent all residents did not hear sirens in recent days.

UPDATE: 4:33PM IL: One rocket intercepted in the S’dot Negev region and two others landed in open areas. No injuries reported.

UPDATE: 4:30PM IL: Gaza reports 4 killed in IAF attack on a Gaza communications center.

UPDATE 4:23PM IL: Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal calls upon rights groups to “expose” Israeli “crimes” against Gaza, especially against children..

UPDATE 4:15PM IL: Hamas Chief Khaled Mashaal speaking at a press conference in Cairo:

“This is a tough but great moment in the annals of our resistance….If Israel wants truce, it must initiate ceasefire because ‘they started the war’… Palestinians must ‘end their divisions’…The weapons of the resistance have caught the enemy off guard…”

UPDATE 4:00PM IL: Witnesses say an Israeli airstrike has hit a high-rise in downtown Gaza City where a number of local and foreign news organizations have offices. Thick black smoke rose from the building Monday as ambulances rushed to the scene. Paramedics say one person was killed and several wounded.

It’s the second strike on the building in two days. The Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa, is located on the top floor. (AP)

UPDATE 3:30PM IL: According to multiple reports, hundreds of Arabs are rioting in many locations in Yehuda & Shomrom. Rocks, Molotov cocktails, and other projectiles are being thrown at IDF soldiers.

UPDATE 3:21PM IL: A rocket explodes in an open area near the Eshkol Regional Council. No reports of any no injuries or damage.

UPDATE 3:06PM IL: Reports in Israel state that despite messages of support for the military operation from the United States and some European nations, there is heavy opposition to an Israeli ground forces operation, which explains why the thousands of soldiers are being kept in a holding pattern since being activated for emergency duty.

UPDATE: 3:03PM IL: At least three rockets intercepted over Ashdod area by Iron Dome, possibly a forth as well.

UPDATE: 3:01PM IL: There are no reports of injuries or damage following the rocket attacks.

UPDATE: 2:58PM IL: Appears sirens are also sounding in Be’er Tuvia and Ashkelon.

UPDATE: 2:56PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod and Kiryat Malachi at this time.

UPDATE: 2:33PM IL: Hamas spokesman Hazi Farhoum states in light of Israel hitting innocent people, Israelis should prepare for stepped up attacks.

UPDATE: 2:28PM IL: Three rockets exploded in proximity to communities in the Eshkol Council region. B’chasdei Hashem no injuries are being reported.

UPDATE: 2:24PM IL:  Sirens heard in Yoav and Be’er Tuvia areas. No injuries being reported.

UPDATE: 2:22PM IL: Another siren in Eshkol Regional Council district moments ago. No injuries being reported.

UPDATE: 2:19PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon, Ashdod and Gan Yavne.

UPDATE: 2:18PM IL: IDF Major-General (retired) Yiftach Ron-Tal, former commander of ground forces tells Channel 2 that despite an outstanding performance by the air force, without ordering ground forces into Gaza, the effect of the past days will be lost too quickly. He added the terrorist infrastructure cannot be dismantled by aerial assaults alone.

UPDATE: 2:17PM IL: No injuries being reported in any of the rocket attacks.

UPDATE: 2:15PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE: 2:12PM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva.

UPDATE: 2:09PM IL: Bomb demolition experts are working in Ashkelon to neutralize a rocket that landed in a public park but failed to detonate.

UPDATE: 2:06PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council area.

UPDATE: 2:04PM IL: No injuries reported in the last wave of rocket attacks in Beersheva and other areas.

UPDATE: 2:03PM IL: In first Beersheva siren, one rocket intercepted by Iron Dome and the second landed in an open area.

Sirens sounding again in the Merchavim Regional Council.

UPDATE: 2:00PM IL: Second siren in Beersheva.

UPDATE: 1:54PM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva and Tifrach.

UPDATE: 1:51PM IL: Ynet quotes persons close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu anonymously saying the prime minister signals if diplomatic efforts fail, Israel must move ahead with the ground forces operation in Gaza.

UPDATE: 1:24PM IL: 6 rockets were fired at Ashkelon of which 4 were intercepted by the Iron Dome. Two evaded the system of which 1 struck the home. It is assumed the 6th rocket landed in an open area.

UPDATE: 1:22PM IL: Baruch Hashem there is no injuries being reported in the last attack in Ashkelon in which a rocket slammed into a yard of a home.

Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council at this time.

UPDATE: 1:18PM IL: 4 rockets heading to Ashkelon intercepted by Iron Dome. One rocket seems to have landed. Injuries being reported. More to follow.

UPDATE: 1:17PM IL: Channel 2 News: 40,000 IDF soldiers standing by, ready, waiting the order to enter Gaza.

UPDATE: 1:13PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ofakim and Ashkelon.

UPDATE: 1:12PM IL: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) warns Israel against expanding the operation in Gaza.

UPDATE: 1:10PM IL: Sirens in Ofakim, Eshkol Regional Council, and Ashkelon at this time.

UPDATE: 1:03PM IL: Beginning today, free public transportation for reservists activated to duty in Operation Pillar of Defense.

UPDATE: 1:02PM IL: Iron Dome intercepts incoming rockets in last attack.

UPDATE: 1:00PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Shar HaNegev Region and Sderot.

UPDATE: 12:54PM IL: There are no reports of injuries following the last rocket attacks.

UPDATE: 12:51PM IL: Sirens sounding in Sderot and the Shar HaNegev Regional Council.

UPDATE: 12:40PM IL: Sirens sounding in the Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE: 12:35PM IL: A total of six rockets fired at Ashdod, 4 intercepted by the Iron Dome and 2 landed in open areas.

UPDATE: 12:33PM IL: Israel Police reports over 30 rockets fired at Israeli population centers today.

UPDATE: 12:32PM IL: The Iron Dome intercepts a number of rockets heading for Ashdod/ Sirens sounding again.

UPDATE: 12:29PM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashdod, Be’er Tuvia Regional Council and Yavne area.

UPDATE: 12:23PM IL: MK Meir Sheetrit to Channel 2 News: “There is no other nation in the world that operates as the IDF does. Before bombing a building, the IDF phones all the residents to warn them to get out”.

Sheetrit also feels “restraint is might” and Israel must wind down the operation and absolutely NOT sent ground forces in, fearing “we enter and then we do not know how to get out”.

UPDATE: 12:19PM IL: Regarding ongoing efforts towards a ceasefire, Israel wants Hamas to undertake responsibility to halt any and all rocket fire from Gaza, including from other terror organizations.

Hamas on the other hand is demanding Israel lift the marine embargo, which is not likely to pass with Israeli leaders due to the realization that lifting the embargo would permit Hamas to import weapons and ammunition freely.

UPDATE: 12:06PM IL: Another siren sounding in Sderot. Preliminary reports from the city signal there are no injuries. Another success for the Iron Dome

UPDATE: 11:54AM IL: Rockets landed in open areas. No injuries in Sderot.

UPDATE: 11:51AM IL: Sirens in Sderot and Shar HaNegev Regional Council.

UPDATE: 11:45AM IL: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is scheduled to arrive in Gaza on Tuesday.

UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-Moon is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday as well.

UPDATE: 11:41AM IL: Government cyber unit on high alert as there are reports of countless attempts to hack into Israeli and government websites.

UPDATE: 11:31AM IL: Rocket fired at Beersheva was intercepted by the Iron Dome.

UPDATE: 11:29AM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva

UPDATE: 11:24AM IL: No injuries being reported from Beersheva. Channel 2 reports the rocket(s) appears to have fallen in an open area outside the city.

UPDATE: 11:19AM IL: Sirens sounding in Beersheva and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council.

Beersheba: The largest city in the Negev. Often referred to as the “Capital of the Negev”, it is the seventh-largest city in Israel with a population of 194,300.

Soroka Medical Center, southern Israel’s major medical center and level 1 trauma center, is located in the city. 

UPDATE: 11:16AM IL: Sirens in Ofakim and Merchavim Regional Council.

UPDATE: 11:14AM IL: Sirens sounding in Be’er Tuvia and Ofakim.

UPDATE: 11:12AM IL: Sirens in the Kiryat Malachi and Gan Yavne areas.

Kiryat Malachi: A town located 17km (11 miles) from Ashkelon. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 20,600.

UPDATE: 11:10AM IL: Channel 2 News: 3-4 rockets, all of which landing in open areas.

UPDATE: 11:01AM IL: Sirens once again in the Eshkol Regional Council.

The Eshkol regional council is made up of 32 communities; 14 kibbutzim, 15 moshavim and 3 yishuvim kehilatiyim. The regional council encompasses 1,000 square kilometers, most being agricultural land.

UPDATE: 10:58AM IL: Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, 540 rockets were launched against Israel of which 3.5% landed in urban areas.

UPDATE: 10:56AM IL: Stepped up attacks against Gaza-based terrorists at this time.

UPDATE: 10:47AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ofakim and the Eshkol Regional Council.

Located 20km (12 miles) west of Beersheva. Ofakim had a population of 24,800. 

UPDATE: 10:43AM IL: Fortunately all schools in 40km range of Gaza are closed. In the last wave of rockets fired at Ashkelon a school building was hit. Significant damage is reported from the scene. Iron Dome did intercept 3 of the 4 rockets fired.

UPDATE: 10:41AM IL: IDF Homefront Command calls upon residents of Tel Aviv to leave lobby doors unlocked to permit pedestrians to run for safety in the event of a rocket siren.

UPDATE: 10:38AM IL: Iron Dome intercepts three rockets heading to Ashkelon.

On the Mediterranean coast, 50km (30 miles) south of Tel Aviv and 13km (8 miles) north of the border with Gaza. In 2010, the population of Ashkelon was 112,900.

UPDATE: 10:37AM IL: Sirens in the area of the Ashkelon Industrial Park.

UPDATE: 10:32AM IL: Sirens sounding in Ashkelon, Ashkelon Coast Regional Council and Be’er Tuvia at this time.

A moshav near the city of Kiryat Malachi. It is affiliated with the Be’er Tuvia Regional Council.

UPDATE: 10:08AM IL: Red Alert in Eshkol Regional Council.

UPDATE: 9:58AM IL: Red Alert in S’dot Negev and Shar HaNegev Regional Councils.

UPDATE: 9:47AM IL: Israel Navy playing a significant role in the offensive against Gaza, targeting terrorists from the sea.

UPDATE: 9:44AM IL: Significant increase in firebomb and rock-throwing attacks throughout Yehuda and Shomron on Sunday.

UPDATE: 9:41AM IL: IRON DOME: Over 310 intercepts since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense

UPDATE: 9:31AM IL: Gaza reports 16 dead and over 50 injured due to IAF raids since Sunday night.

UPDATE: 9:30AM IL: Another siren in the Eshkol Regional Council. At least three rockets have impacted already. B”H no injuries.

UPDATE: 9:29AM IL: Second round of rocket fire to the same areas. There are no immediate reports of injuries.

UPDATE: 9:28AM IL: Sirens in S’dot Negev and Eshkol Regional Councils.

UPDATE: 8:40AM IL: IAF targets a building in Khan Yunis.

UPDATE: 8:39AM IL: Sirens sounding in the Shar HaNegev Regional Council.

UPDATE: 8:29AM IL: It appears that the explosion heard earlier in Eilat was the result of a RPG fired at construction workers along the Egyptian border. At least one person was treated for hysteria as a result.

UPDATE: 8:25AM IL: Gunfire directed at workers along Egyptian border short time ago. No injuries.

UPDATE: 8:23AM IL: Officials confirm the explosions earlier in Eilat were due to another rocket attack. No injuries are being reported.

UPDATE: 8:09AM IL: Explosions heard in southern port city of Eilat, fear of rocket attacks. Police have not yet located the rockets fired at the city last night.

UPDATE: 8:08AM IL: Among public facilities destroyed by the IAF during the night was a soccer stadium and sports center in Central Gaza.

UPDATE: 8:00AM IL: Sirens sounded in the Ashkelon Coast and Shar HaNegev Regional Council areas about 10 minutes ago. There were no injuries.

UPDATE: 7:26AM IL: Sirens sounding in Reim.

UPDATE: 7:16AM IL: Air force reports hitting 80 terrorist targets in Gaza during the night.

UPDATE: 7:05AM IL: The London-based el-Hayat reports that a draft ceasefire proposal was submitted to Israel by Egypt, and the sides await an Israeli response. According to the report, the ceasefire will be total, simultaneous and bilateral.

Israeli officials on Sunday night announced the ceasefire attempts at present have failed.

UPDATE: 7:03AM IL: Gaza officials report at least seven killed by the IAF during the night, beginning the media rhetoric as they speak of the “massacre” and “Israeli aggression”.

UPDATE 12:09AM IL: Rockets hit an open area at the Eshkol Regional Council. No damage or injuries were reported.

UPDATE: 12:00AM IL: With the clock striking midnight on Sunday evening / Monday morning, Israel has now entered “Day 6 of Operation Pillar of Defense”. Stay with YWN as we continue our 24 hour news coverage – updated just seconds after an event occurs.






(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

19 Responses

  1. YWN’s reporting on this crisis is excellent. But how come YWN doesn’t send text messages of breaking news anymore? It would be great, for example, if and when the IDF enters Gaza, those who don’t have access to YWN on their phones can get that info with a text message. I’ve submitted my number a few times, but I don’t get any messages.

  2. Agreement to a cease fire would be a huge mistake.

    While I want this to end before any IDF troops need to enter Hamastan by foot and thereby endanger themselves, now is not the time.

    If Israel agrees to a cease fire at this time the arabs will interpret this as weakness and we will be worse off than before we started.

    We need to continue the effort by air until they have no rockets left and then tighten the blockade.

    BTW what country in the world delvers food and medicine to people shooting at their population centers???

  3. Hine lo yanum v’lo yishan shomer Yisrael.I want to thank you personally for this live blog – as a resident of Beersheva, I feel that the outpouring of support and achdut (unity) of the entire population is in part due to your updates – not just a short recap at the end of the day, this makes it much more personal and immediate. And thank you to the readers who are staying connected and caring. Chizku v’imtzu.

  4. it is only because of hashems rachamim and kindness that most of the rockets are being intercepted by the iron dome or landing in open areas!

  5. Shitrit is right on one count, and I think that this is what he meant:
    In the past, the IDF has gone into Gaza, and then its leaders did not have the guts to see the mission through to the end. If that is going to happen again, then yes, better to wind down the operation and absolutely NOT start a ground invasion.

  6. As the days go by, the condemnation of Israel for hitting civilians (especially since the media acccepts as fact anything told to them by Hamas officials) will only increase. This underscores the fact that water and power should have been shut as the first step. They simply have to let the world know that as soon as the missiles stop, the water and power will be back on. I assure you Hamas would have quit sooner….With parents, sibs, nieces, nephews and dozens of cousins all over the country it is very frustrating to watch Israel make this blunder all over again (they made the exact statements about knocking out so many missile batteries in ’08). I can only imagine how frustrating it is for them….

  7. They want to riot send em to Gaza they don’t apologize for the intentional murder of babies we should not apologize for defending ourselves

  8. To all the residents of Israel, we in the US are very concerned about your situation. I check this live blog a few times a day, and also say extra Tehillim for you. May Hashem protect you from all harm and the wicked enemy should be detroyed!!

  9. To all the residents of Israel, we in the US are very concerned about your situation. I check this live blog a few times a day, and also say extra Tehillim for you. May Hashem protect you from all harm (the civilians being attacked and the soldiers responding to the attacks) and the wicked enemy should be destroyed!!

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