New information is being reported regarding the miracle, in which IDF soldiers exited a bus that was struck by a Hamas anti-tank rocket moments thereafter. The bus exploded into flames and clearly, the results would have been disastrous had the attack occurred before the soldiers exited the bus. One soldier was unfortunately critically wounded from the rocket attack, a 19-year-old.
IDF commanders were reportedly aware that Hamas was going to target a bus or train, and that is why train service between Ashkelon and Sderot was halted, as there is an area in which the train would be exposed to a Hamas strike. This is also the reason why Route 232, which hugs the Gaza border, was closed to civilian traffic on Monday.
Some of the analysts explain that Hamas clearly could have hit the bus with the soldiers still on board. but did not wish to escalate the fighting to that level, well-aware that killing 50 soldiers would have brought the wrath of the IDF down on Gaza and Hamas leaders as never seen before.
Footage of the shocking incident was captured by Hamas, who published it online:
In other news, the Security Cabinet has moved up its planned session for today to 9:00AM as rocket fire continues this morning, Tuesday, 5 Kislev. There have been two heavy waves of rocket fire this morning, since sunrise. All agricultural work in fields along Gaza border has been banned. Rocket fire continues as this is being published.
Late Monday, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeidah issued a message threatening that the terror group will expand rocket fire beyond the Gaza border region:
“The resistance’s message…What happened in Ashkelon…is a warning that what is coming will be greater if the aggression continues. Strikes you all did not know before,” he said on Twitter, referencing the strike which killed a civilian and critically wounded two more.
“Approximately one million Zionists will be within the range of our missiles if the enemy’s decision is to continue its aggression”, he wrote earlier.
In the Central Negev and Lachish areas, gathering are permitted up to 300 people. Schools are closed as well. Only ‘essential’ businesses will operate. This includes staples like bread and milk production and similar services.
Schools are closed in the following cities and municipalities: School closings includes Beersheva University. Other closures include Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheva, Gan Yavne, Ofakim, Ofakim and Omer.
While it did not appear on the Homefront Command’s list, Gadera officials this morning have ordered schools closed, unwilling to take a chance since their schools are not fortified against rocket fire.
It is also reported that Hamas is using Coronet rockets, as is used by Hezbollah in the north, signifying a significant improvement in the terrorist army’s ability to strike further, harder and faster; as these rockets are traveling significantly faster than the primitive rockets used in the past.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)