Baruch Da’ayan HaEmmes: Israeli Man Killed as Gaza Rocket Strikes Ashkelon Home [UPDATED]

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The Israeli civilian killed by terrorist rocket fired from Gaza has been identified. Moshe Agadi H”YD, a 58-year-old father of four, was killed early Sunday when a rocket landed next to his home in Ashkelon in the middle of the night. It is the first Israeli casualty from rocket fire since the 2014 war with Hamas.

Agadi suffered shrapnel wounds to his stomach and chest. He was taken to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where doctors pronounced his death shortly after.

His funeral took place at 4:00PM Sunday at the New Ashkelon Cemetery. However, the public was asked NOT to attend the Levaya due to the security situation in southern Israel.

Typically, hundreds or thousands attend burials of terror victims, but a directive from the IDF’s Home Front Command prohibited any gatherings of more than 300 people in the range of Gaza rockets amid the barrage.

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Agdi was well-known vegetable merchant in the city, a man who neighbors report looked forward to Shabbos and attending Shul.

Shai Agdi, the brother of the deceased, in an interview with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio): “My brother Moshe knew how to respect every person. Love everyone and love people. Modest and innocent in his way. We do not know how to proceed from here. I feel helpless. If he was here, he would give us hope. Anyone who needed hope would have received it from him. He was happy with his lot. It is impossible to describe in words; we still do not digest what occurred.”

“Moshe sold vegetables in the market in Ashkelon, and many people knew him well. He assisted families and chased after mitzvos and did ‘hagba’ on the Sefer Torahg every Shabbos. We simply do not know how to continue from here,” he said. We are 14 brothers, most of us are in Ashkelon, my mother is 82. She has 14 children, over 100 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I do not understand why a mother needs to feel lost at the end of her life, to lose a child”.

Since Shabbos, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists have fired more than 450 rockets at Israeli communities, the IDF reports.

At least 3 Israelis have suffered significant inquiries: An 80-year-old woman was severely wounded by rocket fire, a 50-year-old man was moderately wounded by shrapnel and a teenage boy was mildly hurt as he ran for cover. Additionally, around 80 more people have been treated for shock, anxiety or other ‘minor’ injuries.

In retaliation, the IDF has hit back with tank shelling and air strikes at some 220 terror targets in Gaza. The IDF said 8 terrorists were killed. Targets struck included rocket launchers, training sites, terror tunnels, storage depots and warehouses of both the territory’s Hamas rulers and the smaller, Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad group.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli strikes had killed a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old daughter in their east Gaza City home. However, IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Sunday a detailed review had found that a Palestinian terrorist rocket had misfired and killed the two civilians. He said the Palestinians were “trying to sell a story that isn’t true.”

Conricus said Israel’s strikes hit a variety of “high-quality” terror sites, that included commanders’ homes in which terror activity was observed. He said he had no knowledge of civilians being harmed by Israeli fire. Conricus said Israel was deploying an armor brigade along the Gaza front, with tanks ready for offensive missions as needed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas was paying a “heavy price” for its rocket attacks against Israel and that it would be held accountable not only for its own terror actions but also for that of the Islamic Jihad, which operates under its jurisdiction in Gaza.

Sirens wailed along the border region overnight warning of incoming attacks. School was cancelled in southern Israel Sunday and emergency protocol enacted. In Gaza, large explosions thundered across the blockaded enclave during the night as plumes of smoke rose into the air. One of the airstrikes hit a six-story commercial and residential building that housed the office of Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called it a “new example of Israel’s unrestrained aggression.”

The Israeli military says its Iron Dome defense system intercepted more than 150 of the projectiles from Gaza, but several still managed to slip through. A rocket scored a direct hit on a residential home in the border town of Sderot.

Jonathan Rieck, director of the emergency room at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, said they had treated some 80 people, most from shock symptoms, but several with body wounds, including an elderly man who was in critical condition from head injuries.

Israel has vowed to hit back hard against both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, whom it suspects of triggering the current conflagration. But, as in similar previous rounds where it stopped short of a full-fledged war, the timing for a prolonged round of fighting is tricky for Israel.

The country marks Memorial Day and Independence Day this week, when masses head out to ceremonies at military cemeteries and then street parties across the country. The following week it is set to host the Eurovision song contest in which large groups of tourists are expected to arrive.

For Gazans, the violence comes ahead of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan that begins Monday.

Yaakov Amidror, a former Israeli national security adviser, said the source of the eruption of violence was Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza being pushed by their patrons in Tehran.

“This is the interest of the Iranians, that there will be another operation in Gaza that they will be free to continue what they are doing in Syria and Israel will be busy with and focusing on Gaza,” explained Amidror, currently a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security.

Islamic Jihad has threatened to fire longer range rockets toward Israel’s heartland, and in a video that also was seen as an implicit claim of responsibility, it showed archived footage of militants attaching warheads to rockets.

It threatened to shatter the shaky understandings recently reached though Egyptian mediators. Israel had agreed to expand a fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, increased imports into Gaza and allow the Gulf state of Qatar to deliver aid to cash-strapped Gaza. Militant leaders were in Cairo trying to reach a new cease-fire.

(AP / YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




1 COMMENT

  1. Our Torah rules:
    הבא להרגך השכם להרגו
    This simply means that if someone comes and prepares to kill you take the initiative and kill him. Until the IDF will not follow this rule they will keep on suffering the enemy has to be eradicated they have the full right and obligation to do it. Precision retaliation is not the answer for every Jew that they kill minimum 100 of them have to be eliminated that will solve the problem I know that the world will be shaken up by this response but who cares they will complain the same even with precision retaliation you might as well do the job complete